Lockdown Mandates

Based upon the Scriptures, we maintain that the Church has unbiblically capitulated to the lockdown mandates.  We observe certain crippling factors within the Church that we believe have set the stage for this error, and that also make it unlikely that the Church, in its current configuration, will repent.  These factors are:  Incorrect doctrine regarding civil authority and submission to civil authority; lack of Spiritually qualified and mature leadership; Church organizational norms and religious traditions that are at odds with the Scriptures; widespread worldliness and carnality; coziness with respect to this life; inadequate reverence for God; and fear of men.

But we are exhorted to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so persistently harasses us (Hebrews 12:1).  And by God’s grace, we shall do so here.

Let us we examine the SARS-CoV-2  (coronavirus, or covid 19) lockdown mandates through the lens of the Scriptures, as it is written:

Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Consistent with this, the apostle John says: Test the spirits, to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1).  But how and why should we test the spirits?

In praying to the Father, we overhear cautionary Words from Jesus:

I have given them Your Word; and the world hates them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your Truth. Your Word is Truth. (John 17:14-17)

Jesus has equipped the Church with special revelation from the Father: The Truth that is the Holy Scriptures.  The Church is sanctified in that Truth.  The world hates those who, having been given His Word, are not of this world; but then, the Church is kept from the evil if she is sanctified in the Truth, which is the Word.

Did you catch the implicit warning?  Christians are given the Word, but that is not enough to keep them from the evil.  For unless the Church is sanctified by the hearing, the believing and the doing of that Word, she is vulnerable to the evil world that hates her, and that seeks her compromise and destruction.

The writer to the Hebrews thought similarly, and warns against coasting on one’s initial profession of faith, as it is written:

For everyone who partakes only of milk is without experience in the Word of Righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their understanding exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

But how can the Christian distinguish iniquity from righteousness?  We observe that the Church is largely populated by infants -Spiritual vegans- for whom even the milk is a mystery; the mature Christian is rare indeed, and the Church Biblically headed by Spiritual fathers is nowhere to be found.

This is an urgent matter for the Church, for it is written,

Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19b)

But that is simply an impossible task for him who is without experience in the Word of Righteousness and who yet assumes that the Holy Spirit will bail him out even though his understanding is not yet exercised to discern both good and evil.

We make no such assumptions.  Therefore, we test the spirits.  We endeavor to exercise due Biblical diligence such that, while we are in the world, we will not be found to be of the world… in Spiritual peril, carnal, building on sand, edifices of wood, of hay, of stubble, light snuffed, desalinated, fruitless, reprobate, cut off, castaway.

The Christian is to test every spirit by thoroughly searching the Scriptures: Prayerfully (Ephesians 6:18), reverently (Proverbs 1:7); yieldedly (Matthew 26:39), wholeheartedly (Jeremiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:30-32), hungrily (Matthew 5:6), with childlike reliance and faith (Mark 10:15) and a prior commitment to obedience (Psalm 40:8), desiring first of all to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10; 2 Timothy 3:12), as good soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3-4) and ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) of the Coming King (Luke 19:13) Whom we desire to please (Ephesians 5:10).

As it is written by one who was Spiritually mature:

O how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day.

You, through Your Commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are always with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your Testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the elders, because I keep Your Precepts.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word.

I have not departed from Your Justice, for You have taught me.

How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through Your Precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I have sworn and will fulfill, that I will keep Your righteous judgments. (Psalm 119:97-106)

The Christian is to test the government lockdown mandates, according to the Scriptures.  In this way, the Christian acknowledges God, who can then direct the Christian’s path in relation to those mandates: sinning neither by commission (Psalm 119:11) nor by omission (James 4:17).

Based on the Scriptures, we have determined ten tests for the lockdown mandates.

  1. Are the lockdown mandates authorized by God, and consistent with the divine mandate God placed upon the civil authority He instituted?
  2. Through the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority -an institution established among men by God, and therefore under God- conduct itself subject to God, and glorifying Him in the Biblically revealed exercise and restraint of its powers?  Or, rather, does the civil authority, through the lockdown mandates, set itself up as another god, and, thus, does compliance with the lockdown mandates constitute idolatry?
  3. In justifying the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority say what is true, or does it bear false witness?
  4. Through the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority bring Biblically unauthorized benefit or harm to its subjects?
  5. Through the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority materially interfere with a man loving his neighbor as himself?
  6. Do the lockdown mandates involve sin specifically warned against in the Scriptures?
  7. Do the lockdown mandates in any way oppose or undermine the otherwise unfettered Christian practice of loving and serving the brethren according to the Scriptures, bearing one another’s burdens according to the Scriptures and daily κοινωνία (koinonia) according to the Scriptures?
  8. Could the mature Christian’s compliance with the mandates in any way be reasonably expected to present a stumbling block to those of weak conscience, such as an immature Christian (1 Corinthians 8 and 10) or an unbeliever (Romans 14)?
  9. Do the lockdown mandates in any way oppose or undermine the free Christian performance of the ambassadorial work required of him as a representative the Coming King, according to the Scriptures?
  10. With the results of all previous tests in sober and prayerful view, can the mature Christian conclude, with a clear conscience before God, and considering the whole counsel of God on the matter, that the proper course of action is to voluntarily comply upon the provision of God’s grace -not as subjects, because, as sons of God, Christians are neither citizens nor subjects of the world- Nevertheless, that we not offend them (Matthew 17:27) because the work of God would neither be hindered by compliance with the lockdown mandates, nor would that work be advanced through non-compliance?

What follows is a detailed Biblical treatment of the lockdown mandates through each of these ten tests.  This exercise is by no means comprehensive, and we can think of other tests -Philippians 4:8 and Matthew 6:34 are two ready examples- that might we have added to these ten.  Our goal is to draw attention to the rich Biblical guidance available to the Christian.

We propose that these ten tests -along with others derived from the Scriptures -whether derived by explicit language of Scripture (precepts) or by inference from a multitude of Scriptural witnesses (principles)- be used for evaluating all matters of Christian life, and not solely for the lockdown mandates.


Test number one: Are the lockdown mandates authorized by God, and consistent with the divine mandate God placed upon the civil authority He instituted?

This basic test presumes that we understand the scope and basic components of the God-ordained institution of civil authority.  While we will endeavor to make a more thorough analysis elsewhere, we will touch on some key Scripture passages here.

O man, He has declared to you what is good. And what does Jehovah require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

From this verse, we can learn much.  God has declared to man… what is good, so man is without excuse.  And what has God declared?  That He established among men the institution of the civil authority; that He has declared, as the moral law Giver, a supreme law for all men, distinguishing right and wrong, good and evil; that He laid out civil standards for law enforcement and for due process investigations of wrongdoing, as well as civil punishments for doing evil.  Beyond these, nowhere in Scripture do we find a ‘general welfare’ clause -a blank check- given by God to the institution of civil authority that He established.

From this we can conclude that God requires that man, through the offices of civil authority should do justice according to God’s revealed standards; love mercy by refraining from cruel and unusual punishments and by shunning the abuse of power inherent in the institution of civil authority; and, not leaning on one’s own understanding (and, thus, play God) but instead humbly leaving all lawmaking to God, without favoritism, and reserving to man, civil law enforcement as God has defined it:  No more, no less.

Nevertheless, throughout the history of sinners ruling over sinners through the exercise of the power inherent in the God-ordained institution of the civil authority, we have seen more or less rampant overreach, abuse and lawlessness on the part of those who occupy the offices of civil authority.  Carnal men occupying positions of civil leadership -whether they be of heathen, Jewish or Christian confession- do not defer to God, but rather usurp God’s role by claiming more or less autonomous lawmaking authority.

This is not ‘breaking news,’ as they say.

But can those in positions of civil authority claim ignorance as to the the Godly origins of the institution, and the God-given parameters within which the authority attached to it is to be exercised?

They cannot.  They have special revelation of such at their ready access, contained within the Holy Scriptures… until this day the best-selling text of all time, upon which it is not uncommon for those serving in high office to swear their oaths of office.

Yet, there is even more evidence against those who would claim ignorance.  For we find that, prior to the widespread distribution of the Scriptures, God spoke to men through His servants the prophets.  Before the flood, Enoch the prophet preached this warning:

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these men also, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with innumerable hosts of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. (Jude 1:14-15)

Thus, antediluvian men were without excuse as to God’s Law.

And since the Flood of Noah’s day, all men have known about the God-given nature and purpose of God’s institution of civil authority, since such was revealed to those who were saved through the flood, as it is recorded in Genesis:

Surely the blood of your souls will I require; at the hand of every living thing will I require it, and at the hand of man. At the hand of every man’s brother I will require the soul of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:5-6)

In other words: God had established Himself in the eyes of all men as the Law Giver and Supreme Judge, having just destroyed the world in a flood because

Jehovah saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all day long… The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. (Genesis 6:5,12-13)

In His capacity as Law Giver, He now requires postdiluvian man to execute temporal judgment, in the form of the death penalty, with respect to certain ungodly deeds which they have committed, beginning with murder.  And, thus, the civil authority is instituted.

God, as the Supreme Judge, promises to bring thorough and definitive justice for all eternity at the Great White Throne (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:11-15), as it is written:

I Jehovah search the heart, I examine the soul, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to what his deeds deserve. (Jeremiah 17:10)

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. (Romans 12:19b)

Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

But the Scriptures also contain instances in which God declares certain sins to variously be capital crimes and lesser crimes, with temporal consequences imposed by the civil authority.  Most often, these standards are not specific to the nation Israel, but are applied by God to all men (see Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 for a clear illustration of the universal application of God’s moral law).  Violators of capital crimes are to be put to death by the civil authority; violators of lesser crimes are to be compelled by that authority to make full temporal restitution plus penalties.

By implication flowing from various Scriptures that we will to some extent explore herein, the civil authority was, from the beginning, also charged with warning men, in the Spirit of Enoch, according to the knowledge of God available at the time, against ungodliness in all its forms, lest temporal judgment befall unrepentant ungodly sinners.

However, instead of fulfilling its God-appointed role, all civil authorities to date have almost exclusively pursued ungodliness in every form.  This is consistent with the witness of the apostle John, who taught that the whole world lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19b) for, as David writes: There is no fear of God before his eyes (Psalm 36:1b).

Therefore the apostle Paul speaks thus:

For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is clearly recognized by them, for God has revealed it to them. For ever since the creation of the world the unseen things of Him are clearly perceived, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they know God, they do not glorify Him as God, nor are thankful, but become vain in their reasonings, and their stupid hearts are darkened. Professing to be wise, they become foolish, and change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)

The idolatrous image made like corruptible man is a fitting description of man’s abuse of the God-given institution of civil authority.  They suppress the truth in unrighteousness because, although they have received the truth (and so are without excuse) they nevertheless push it down, as it were, out of sight.

In that respect, the civil authority, at every level of government, fails this test.  We knew in advance that the civil authority would fail the test, because as we have already observed, everywhere and until today, with almost vanishing exception, it has a near-perfect record of failing this test:  The civil authority refuses to enforce God’s standards or to even acknowledge God, and it freely misuses its authority to establish standards after its own image and ends.

With the broader context in view then, with respect to the case of coronavirus lockdown mandates, we observe that this tendency to lawless roguery has been flagrantly magnified.  The civil authorities have granted themselves ‘emergency powers’ without Biblical warrant or valid warrant, even by their own standards of law.  They act capriciously, without even the pretense of restraint by first principles of inalienable God-given rights or limited powers of government.  They visit economic destruction upon their subjects; they deprive subjects of their God-given right to the pursuit of an honorable living; they accelerate the erosion of God-given due-process protections; they meddle destructively in the private affairs of family and social activity; they tempt many to moral corruption by enticing them to decline to engage in honorable work and instead receive government ‘relief’ dole, and by encouraging people to spy and report on their neighbors; they commit theft by debasing the currency through monetary policy designed to pilfer and impoverish the people, and they enrich the elites through fiscal policy that throws bread and circuses to the sheep, whom they then thoroughly fleece… reaching into their back pockets with a mammoth paw, while handing them relief checks with an anemic and withered claw.

Let us pause to reflect that when we examine the Scriptures, we find that God ordained the institution of the civil authority, and, God charged it with enforcing God’s civil Law according to God’s standards, and warning sinners against incurring temporal judgment from God, and, thus, promote the peace.  According to Biblical due process, the civil authority is to put murderers, kidnappers, adulterers and suchlike to death, sound the true alarm in the defense of the nation and, as often as needed (continuously, given that all have sinned and the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth [Genesis 8:22]) to call the people to humble themselves before their Creator, who

…has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell everywhere on the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as also some of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine is like gold or silver or stone, something engraved by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead. (Acts:17:26-31)

Every nation of men refers to the various patrilineal people groups of Genesis 10. God has determined their preappointed times (καιρός προτάσσω preappointed conditions, events and times of decision) and the boundaries (ὁροθεσία limits and boundaries, physical but also moral and in law) of their dwellings.  Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and since Paul informs his Athenian audience that all men everywhere are commanded to repent, we know that when Paul says all men everywhere, he means every nation of men, who are without excuse with respect to the knowledge of Jesus, His gospel and His command that all repent and believe (Mark 1:15); from this fact, we can see that, on account of national violations of the moral and physical boundaries set by God, the preappointed times for every nation of men involves a test: The national call to repentance before God, after the pattern of the King of Nineveh.

Speaking of the King of Nineveh: Jonah the prophet gives us an example of the kind of ‘lockdown mandate’ that pleases God, and to which God may well respond with mercy, forbearance and blessing:

And the word reached even to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he took off his robe and covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes.  And he cried and proclaimed in Nineveh by the decree of the king and of his nobles, saying, Do not let man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them feed nor let them drink water.  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. And let them call mightily to God. And let them each one turn from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.  Who knows if God may turn, and have compassion, and turn away from His burning anger, that we not perish?  And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. And God was moved to pity with regard to the evil that He had spoken to do to them, and He did not do it. (Jonah 3:6-10)

See the response of the king of Nineveh.  The Word of warning from God is spoken by Jonah the prophet… a Word of impending preappointed times of judgment on account of critical violation of the Spiritual and physical boundaries established by God for the Assyrian empire.  The king hears the Word of God, and he repents in sackcloth and… ashes.  Notice that God was not moved to pity until contrition and repentance was evidenced at the highest levels of civil authority, for it was only at that point that God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way.

And of another, a later King of Assyria, who neither knew Jonah nor feared Jonah’s God, and who did not humble himself before God, it was prophesied:

I will punish the fruit of the proud heart of the king of Assyria and the glory of his haughty looks. For he says, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am discerning. And I have removed the borders of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. (Isaiah 10:12b-13)

Did you catch the connection with the teaching of the apostle Paul?  This proud king of Assyria and the Assyrian nation had failed the preappointed times of testing assigned to it, and therefore God removed the boundaries of their dwellings in temporal judgment.

In contrast, consider the Godly pattern set before us by a contemporary of that king, King Josiah of Judah, who serves as an excellent example of the proper attitude and exercise of civil authority, and who correctly understood the preappointed times of decision:

And it came about, when the king heard the Words of the Law, that he tore his clothes. (2 Chronicles 34:19)

Upon hearing the Words of the Law, Josiah understood (Isaiah 6:9) that God’s wrath was upon His people; in response, he ordered an immediate inquiry of God, to see what may be done to remedy the situation:

Go, inquire of Jehovah for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the Words of the Book that has been found; for great is the wrath of Jehovah that has been poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the Word of Jehovah, to do according to all that is written in this Book. (2 Chronicles 34:21)

And through His prophet, God replied:

Because your heart has been tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His Words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you, says Jehovah. Behold, I am gathering you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I am bringing upon this place and its inhabitants. So they brought back word to the king. Then the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the house of Jehovah, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the priests and the Levites, and all the people, great and small. And he read in their ears all the Words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of Jehovah. And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to do the Words of the covenant that were written in this Book. And he caused all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. And Josiah removed all the abominations from all the land of the children of Israel, and caused all who were found in Israel to serve, being subject unto Jehovah their God. All his days they did not depart from following Jehovah the God of their fathers. (2 Chronicles 34:29-33).

Observe the pattern.  Josiah first heard the Words of the Law.  Then, he tore his clothes, signifying that he was filled with Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10) and had humbled himself in true contrition before the God who, according to Paul in Acts 17, had appointed him (καιρός προτάσσω) to faithfully steward the kingdom of Judah according to the precepts and principles (i.e., boundaries, ὁροθεσία) revealed to him in the Words of the Law.  Notice that because the heart of King Josiah was tender, and he had humbled himself before God and torn his clothes and wept, God spared the people from judgment during the time of Josiah.

But did the people humble themselves before God in Spirit and in Truth, as had Josiah their king?  Not at all, as it is written:

And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not returned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says Jehovah. (Jeremiah 3:10)

Observe that God had spoken this through Jeremiah the prophet early in Jeremiah’s ministry, and likely during the reign of king Josiah himself.  See how God -having already determined that the kingdom of Judah had crossed the line into certain temporal judgment on account of the sins of Josiah’s grandfather, king Manasseh- extended a stay of execution, a period of grace, during the reign of Josiah, on the sole basis of the repentant humility and obedience of Josiah, as the nation’s federal head (being defined, that God deals with men according to their leaders, whom God considers mediators of those under them, whether these be patrilineal, religious or civil authority; examples include ‘as in Adam all sinned, so in Christ, all are made alive,’ fathers as heads of their households, Aaron as the head of the Aaronic priesthood, Melchizedek as the order of a greater priesthood, kings ruling subjects, and the One Mediator between God and men: Himself, Christ Jesus).

Therefore, we are assured:

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

Because king Josiah did what was right in the eyes of God, God withheld His hand of judgment during the reign of king Josiah, who used his civil authority to enforce public compliance with God’s law.  God’s stay of execution of certain judgment followed Josiah’s personal and official repentance, even though the people complied only outwardly.  From this, we can see the priority God places upon the attitudes and actions of those occupying the seat of civil authority.

Even king Ahab -icon of wicked kingship- received the grace of God promised to the humble:

And the Word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring about the evil in his days; but in the days of his son I will bring about the evil upon his house. (1 Kings 21:28-29)

For this is the heart of God toward the wicked:

As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, I take no delight in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! (Ezekiel 33:11)

And He further appeals to sinners for national repentance (in context, the following is addressed to national Judah):

Yet even now turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, declares Jehovah.  So, tear your heart, and not your garments; and return to Jehovah your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He has compassion concerning the evil. Who knows if He will turn and have pity and leave a blessing behind Him, a food offering and a drink offering for Jehovah your God? (Joel 2:12-14b)

And He says this to those who give lip service to Him, but who in practice forget Him:

But to the wicked God says, What is it you do, to declare My Statutes, and to take up My Covenant in your mouth; seeing as how you hate correction, and cast off My Words behind you? When you saw a thief, then you were pleased to be with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I have kept silent; you thought that I was like yourself; but I will rebuke you, and set in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be no one to deliver. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his way, I will show the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:16-23)

Can it be said that, through the lockdown mandates, the civil authority authentically  offers praise to God, and orders his way according to God’s Statutes and Covenant?  Not in the least.  Rather, we observe the opposite.

Authorization for the lockdown mandates is found nowhere in the Scriptures -either in precept or principle- for God has declared what is good, and yet the civil authority ‘forgets’ that, and instead establishes for itself a standard after its own rebellious image (‘you thought that I was like yourself’: We will deal with this further in the second and eighth tests).

Now, there is one manner of lockdown mandate that is well pleasing to God, as we have seen:  The authoritative call to national repentance, humility, contrition and the mending of one’s evil ways.  But, is such a call ever on the lips of the civil authority?  Alas, the report is mere scuttlebutt, a rumor; it is nowhere to be found.

Let us summarize.  God ordained the institution of the civil authority, for three purposes: Enforce His law according to His standards, defend the people from foreign threats and call the people to repentance and the fear of God.  In no way has God authorized the civil authority to act as law maker, or to modify or abrogate God’s law.

There exists no Biblical authorization for the lockdown mandates that have been declared by the civil authority, for they flow from lawless overreach and roguish disregard for God and for the boundaries God has placed upon the civil authority.  Neither has the civil authority performed its God-ordained work of calling the people to turn to Jehovah with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, according to the Scriptures.  Therefore, at every level, the lockdown mandates fail this first test.

But in the case of an alleged pandemic, the civil authority ought to be leading the people in urgent appeal to God’s mercy, and to evidence the fear of God with dust and ashes, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, lest God bring further judgment that is the just harvest of them that sow iniquities, as David wrote:

Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Jehovah executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so Jehovah has compassion on those who fear Him.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

And then the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place is noticed no more.

But the mercy of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His Commandments to do them.

Jehovah has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:1-19)

But the civil authority has neither confined itself to enforcing God’s law according to God’s standards, nor has it called upon the people to forget not all His benefits, and to fear Him who rules over all and who heals all your diseases, who redeems… from destruction those who fear Him.

From God’s perspective, therefore, the civil authority is indeed lawless and derelict, failing this first test both by exceeding its scope of authority through the imposition of unauthorized mandates upon the people, and by failing to call men to the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, and that leads to the keeping of God’s commandments, which leads to God’s mercy upon those who deserve condemnation.



Test number three: In justifying the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority say what is true, or does it bear false witness?

If a ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants are wicked. (Proverbs 29:12)

Let us examine the case about the SARS-CoV-2 virus (for brevity, I will not burden this with source material and references and other documentation, but those are available):

  • At no level of government has the civil authority either demonstrated its authority to impose the lockdown mandates, even consistent with its own law; neither has it presented true scientific evidence that those mandates are proper and necessary to achieve lawful ends… the mandates are simply asserted as authorized, proper and necessary
  • This virus poses a similar threat level to other coronaviruses (cold viruses), and is here to stay
  • This virus is neither of such widespread or terrible impact that it qualifies as a pandemic (if it were, then tuberculosis, for example, would also have to be called a pandemic, for tuberculosis is causing more deaths annually than this virus)
  • This virus is likely bioengineered by one or more civil authorities, and its release is useful to the civil authorities in advancing their antichrist agenda
  • The virus poses a serious threat only to a small subset of the population of those already immune-compromised and who are, thus, at a greater risk from any infectious disease
  • Medically effective treatments are criminally suppressed by government, which, under criminal law, can result in a capital crime
  • ‘Cases’ do not equal ‘bad outcomes’
  • Rigorous science to-date reveals that transmission and infection is not mitigated, in its infectious form, by mask use of any kind, or by sanitation, or hand washing, or distancing, or curfews, or closure of ‘nonessential’ businesses, or curtailment of gatherings, or banning of singing, or increased testing, or contact tracing
  • Epidemiologically, the best course is to encourage widespread exposure among the healthy and the young, to hasten widespread natural immunity in the broader healthy population and to reduce the numbers of people whose first exposure is delayed until they are weakened, immune-compromised and vulnerable to serious outcomes
  • The mandates have unjustifiably reduced access to medical care broadly speaking, and are destructive to physical and mental health, the social fabric and the economy, and serve to further strain relations among families and neighbors; yet no cost-benefit analysis has been advanced to justify the policies
  • Comparing official 2020 death data over a wide range of factors such as heart attack, stroke, cancers and flu, death rates in these categories are down over 2019, but covid-19 deaths mysteriously make up the difference, such that the overall death rate is approximately constant year-over-year… these official ‘data’ are doubtful and suspect, since they would suggest that covid-19 either offers curative and preventative properties against many annually deadly conditions, or else death data are not being honestly reported
  • Widespread and imprecise testing have together resulted in an anxiety-driven culture of quarantine terror, a general conflation of ‘cases’ with ‘outcomes’, a high rate of false positives and massive resources ineffectively mobilized, wasted and diverted from productive investment
  • Outcome data from every nation consistently show that mandates are associated either with worse outcomes, or else no statistical difference compared with areas that did not impose the same mandates
  • The government is limited within the heavenly parameters set over it, and also by natural rights and the rule of law, to the extent that the lockdown mandates are unconscionable and unlawful… but raising these points results in one being shamed, vilified, ostracized, shamed and canceled

Now, let us consider the claims made by the civil authority, and its policies:

  • The government has unlimited ‘emergency’ powers
  • Select ‘experts’ have spoken, and must be believed, but their professional dissenting peers must be vilified and deplatformed
  • Those who disagree must be dismissed, shamed, silenced and canceled
  • The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a threat of such magnitude, that to fight this threat, a spirit of unprecedented-since-Nimrod worldwide political lockdown unity is necessary
  • We are experiencing a terrible pandemic
  • Without any evidence, blame the bats (and, by implication, the God who made the bat)
  • The virus is a threat to all, and is unprecedented in our time
  • ‘Cases’ equal ‘bad outcomes’ (even when ‘cases’ are figments of misleading test results as well as reporting parameters that turn non-covid-19 deaths into reportable covid-19 deaths… but we won’t talk about that, lest we be shamed, vilified and canceled)
  • Financial incentives are provided to health care providers, states and municipalities for reporting non covid-19 deaths as covid-19 deaths (incentivizing biased reporting)
  • Masks work, distancing works, house arrest and quarantine work, and all other mandates work to flatten the curve and slow the spread, etc, so we can defeat this virus
  • We can and must defeat this virus, and every exposure is bad exposure
  • We must make any sacrifice deemed necessary to stop the spread of this virus
  • We must ramp up testing and contact tracing as necessary to stop the spread of this virus
  • The virus spreads at church gatherings, but not at ANTIFA riots; at Thanksgiving gatherings and at weddings over a certain size, but not at funeral services, etc
  • With the collusion of connected corporations and media, Orwellian doublespeak, refusal to allow cost-benefit analyses, dictatorial and often capricious enforcement measures with no meaningful due process recourse afforded those subject to the measures, shaming, vilification, cancel culture, encouragement of anonymous reporting on the noncompliant, censorship of contrary evidences and claims and anything inconsistent with the official narrative, widespread falsification of data and misleading interpretation of data, medical malpractice and insistence upon measures that constitute violation of God-given and civil liberties as well as OSHA standards

With respect to this test for truthfulness, the most generous conclusion that can be drawn is that the words and conduct of the civil authority are not above suspicion, and there is the appearance an agenda.

We do not believe that such a rosy conclusion constitutes the most straightforward understanding.  Rather, the recurring themes of censorship, inconsistency, deception, fear mongering and nonsensical conclusions, fact-free lockdown hysteria, voodoo ‘science’ and general Godlessness all point not to a good faith effort but rather to the presence of an agenda.

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.  The rulers of the world are working to bring about one world government under Antichrist, and in order to arrive at that end, they must overcome devotion to the True and Living God, individualism, proper God-ordained nationalism, inalienable rights, property rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.  The thesis:  We must have peace and safety (1 Thessalonians 5:3).  The antithesis:  This virus is essentially a trojan horse the spirit of the world (John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2-3) uses to move the world closer to the evil ultimate synthesis: Peace and safety under the False Christ.  And thus, the world is moved one big step closer to the readiness for the appearance of the wicked man of sin and lawlessness, foretold in the Scriptures.

The Biblical truth is that the whole world lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19) and that the nations of men are ruled by the basest of men (Daniel 4:17b, KJV).  Why then are many Christians, by default as it were, so willing to trust the narrative and the motives of the civil authority?

The Lord Jesus Himself taught His disciples about proper leadership; to do so, He employed the contrasting example of the gentile rulers, with their the false claims of benevolent service (Luke 22:23-27):

And He said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors. But not so among you; rather, he who is greater among you, let him be as the younger, and he who leads as he who serves. (Luke 22:25-26)

Thus, the Lord Jesus condemns the abuse of power that is normative among the gentile governments, and He likewise calls out their lie, for though their reigns are attended by roguery and unjust gain, they nevertheless avow, freely and often, that they give of themselves in service to the people, as their benefactors.

Perhaps the cry of the Psalmist serves as a good example for the Christian:

Judge for me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation. O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. (Psalm 43:1)

But even in the least-bad case that kings of the gentiles and their minions are simply badly-advised incompetent bumblers, the civil authority fails this test, for almost without exception, their declarations and actions are questionable, falsifiable, suspect, misleading or slanderous… the only question in any given case is whether the civil authority is simply inept, or a nefarious agent of the devil.

King David asks,

O Jehovah, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend (Psalm 15:1-3)

In what way do these standards -standards declared by a Godly civil king, under the inspiration of God who set him on his seat of civil authority- not apply to those in positions of civil authority?  Should not those who occupy the seat of civil authority make every effort to conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach, making every effort to faithfully and transparently discharge the duties appertaining to their offices, and thus promote the peace and general welfare of the subjects they ostensibly serve?

The Christian is called to shine brightly amid a dark, crooked and depraved generation (Philippians 2:15) holding fast the Word of Life (Philippians 2:16).  Thus, the Church, shining with the bright light of the holiness of God that results from faithful obedience to the Scriptures, ought to be decrying the ungodly manner of the civil authority.  But what if, out of fear of men, the Christian has hidden his lamp under a basket?

Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:6-13)

But does the Church walk as children of light, reproving the unfruitful works of darkness around her?  For although all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, and the Church ought to be warning the world of the wrath to come on account of its unfruitful works of darkness, has the Church not instead capitulated, becoming partakers with them, walking not as light in the Lord and properly reproving the unfruitful works of darkness but rather as darkness, as compliant worldlings?

The lockdown mandates are based on misleading statements and outright lies, ungodly motives, and the appearance of an ungodly agenda.  Therefore, the lockdown mandates fail this third test.


Test number four: Through the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority bring Biblically unauthorized benefit or harm to its subjects?

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

In a breathtaking expansion of meddling overreach in the private affairs of men, in the name of war on covid-19, the civil authority has violently inserted itself into everyone’s private lives and committed theft of liberty and livelihood on a grand scale.  Much of this was done by declaration, fiat -emergency ‘powers’, executive orders, regulatory decrees- without even a pretense of legal due process or prospect of review or appeal.

Unauthorized monetary benefit and harm resulted:  Amid this eye-popping destruction of liberty, economy and the social fabric, the civil authority engaged in a renewed zeal to debase the currency by printing trillions of dollars in ‘relief’ funds.  These new liabilities add greatly to the already staggering pile of dollar-denominated debt.  Because monetary debasement destroys the value of the coin of the realm, it is nothing less than theft committed by those in power against those who use that currency (in this case, the US dollar) but who do not themselves have free access to the printing presses.

Theft, in the form of debasement of the currency -even when committed by the civil authority- is not permitted under God’s law, as it is written: You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15).

Unauthorized fiscal benefit and harm have both resulted:

Now, we know that every form of public welfare, wealth transfer and other ‘benevolence’ practiced by the civil authority is outside its lawful God-given authorization, and constitutes meddling, theft and encroachment on the God-given role of the neighbor (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 6:1-4; Matthew 7:12; Luke 10:36-37; Acts 2:44-45; Philippians 2:4; 1 John 3 :16-18 etc); charity and benevolence are simply outside the scope of the divine mandate given by God to the civil authority.  That the civil authority engages in such unauthorized fiscal thefts is nothing new.  But extraordinary and unprecedented expansions of fiscal measures have attended the lockdown mandates.  These include federal government payouts to businesses large and small; direct payments to individuals; increased funding for pork of many persuasions and great largess for municipal governments, states, privately-run institutions of healthcare; enormous corporate contracts for emergency production and services; expanded inflationary liquidity injections into financial markets directly producing increased wealth disparity, that increases the harm caused to those who are the purported objects of benevolence.

Government, industry and NGOs alike heralded all these monetary and fiscal interventions as necessary, urgent and laudable, for the benefit of all in a time of crisis.

But the apostle Paul admonishes the Christian not to be taken in by such claims:

For: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not covet; and if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no evil to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law. (Romans 13:9-10)

For this is the manner of kings:

Now appoint us a king to judge us like all the nations. So Samuel told all the words of Jehovah to the people who were asking him for a king. And he said, This shall be the manner of the king who shall reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint commanders over his thousands and commanders over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your seed and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and make them do his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and Jehovah will not answer you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles. (1 Samuel 8:5b, 10-20)

That our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.  And thus, the people are led astray by their own moral deficiency and spiritual apathy, out of which the manner of the king who shall reign over you in a manner ruinous to his subjects.


…they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, for Me to not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:7b)

The Church ought to be decrying this attitude and directing the fearful to the God they have rejected, rather than joining their call for government to ‘do something,’ or allowing the moral declension of the world to go unchallenged through quiet compliance; for in so doing, the visible Church does nothing to advance the ambassadorial work that is no small part of the Christian’s purpose for being in the world (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Matthew 28:18-20).

The Christian ought to be boldly proclaiming the judgment of God against the ungodliness of the civil authority:  That God has ordained the institution of civil government among men, and that it should faithfully represent Him in civil matters in the sight of the people; that, by proclamation and example, civil leaders should spur the people on to righteousness and to the shunning evil, as God defines those; and, that the civil authority should confine itself to enforcing the civil laws of God, according to God’s standards, and thus promoting the peace.

How is it consistent with the God-given mandate, to economically damage people’s lives (through meddling and theft) and then create currency-by-debasement (theft by monetary inflation) that the government didn’t possess in the first place, and further encumbering the subjects with public liabilities (more theft) in order to compensate people not to work (inflationary [fiscal theft] benevolence at the expense of others)?  How are these practices not destructive to the moral fiber of a people, and setting the stage for greater economic pain to come?

And how should we view the massive enrichment of financial institutions, favored corporations, government agents and a select class of the wealthy elites, who have been substantially benefited by these government policies?

You shall not steal, nor deceive, nor lie to one another. (Leviticus 19:11)

By simultaneously visiting economic and social destruction into the lives of the subjects, and by using the crisis it created to selectively enrich some, the civil authority fails this fourth test in both respects.


Test number five: Through the lockdown mandates, does the civil authority materially interfere with a man loving his neighbor as himself?

Now I pray to God that you do no evil (2 Corinthians 13:7a)

Measuring the mandates by their impact on liberty, social stability and the social fabric, civility, epidemiology, medicine, outcome data, economics and any other measure we can conceive, the mandates are neither safe nor effective with respect to the virus.  However, they are quite damaging, both individually and across society; therefore, compliance with the lockdown mandates as mandates would necessarily involve violation of the second greatest commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18b/Luke 10:27b).

In what way does submission to the lockdown mandates not involve the submitter in an implicit endorsement of the harm those mandates visit upon one’s neighbor?

Through the mandates themselves, as well as the rhetoric employed by their proponents, neighbor is deputized against noncompliant neighbor, because -as we all know- if you don’t agree agree, you must want granny to die.  Drink the KoolAid, or be vilified, shamed and canceled;  just comply, or be anonymously reported to the authorities a la Stasi Nazi Germany, and be cited, fined and shut down.

But David says,

O Jehovah, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend (Psalm 15:1-3)

In view of these inspired words of the prophet and King David, how can it be right to accede to the lockdown mandates that promote doing evil to one’s neighbor by vilifying him, shaming him, policing him, or reporting on him?

The abuse of power attending the mandates is something the Church ought to be decrying, and not endorsing by the defaults of silence and quiet submission.

For how can one love one’s neighbor, by, for example, applying for relief stimulus payments that necessarily involve not only benefiting oneself at the expense of one’s neighbor, but also visiting future deprivation and pain upon both oneself and one’s neighbor, when, as they say, the piper must eventually be paid?

For these reasons, it would seem that compliance with the provisions of the lockdown mandates as mandates involves violation of the commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself, which is the principle that God declares to be the highest temporal expression of loving God, as it is written:

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)

Now, someone argues, who will care for the poor, the downcast, the needy, the trodden-upon, the lame, the old, the infirm, if not the government?

But God -in confining the civil authority to the promulgation and enforcement of His law as well as timely calls to national humility, contrition, repentance and Godliness- has not left the poor and needy without provision; for, He has ordained that neighbor look after neighbor.

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it? So he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this and you will live. But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Then Jesus answered and said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come back, I will repay you. So which of these three do you suppose was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then Jesus said to him, Go and you do likewise.  (Luke 10:25-37)

Yes, go and you do likewise.  The Church ought to be modeling and teaching ‘going and doing likewise;’ it ought to be preaching against the godlessness of the civil authority, and against its unauthorized arrogation of benevolence, that it cannot do well, that it can only perform corruptly and by thefts, that it does without God’s blessing, that it practices in pursuit of ungodly ends and whereby the people, by reason of catharsis, are discouraged against the practice of benevolence themselves, for it is thought ‘the government is already taking my taxes, etc to help my neighbor, so am I not already helping my neighbor in that manner?  Therefore, wherewith/how/why should I do more?’

But in no way is the civil government authorized to reach into your pocket to help your neighbor, as it is written, You shall not steal (Deuteronomy 5:19).

Do you, Christian, see someone in need, and has God has provided you with the means to help him?  Then reach into your own pocket and help him (1 John 3:16-18), praise God!

This fifth test is to determine whether the the civil authority, through the lockdown mandates, interferes with neighbor loving one’s neighbor as himself.  We do not see that it is possible to conclude that the lockdown mandates pass this test, for those lockdown mandates increase people’s needs through unauthorized interference in their lives; they directly proscribe a neighbor’s ability to love his neighbor (keep a distance, don’t touch, don’t gather, stay home etc) and they promote a greatly increased role of the civil authority as a substitute ‘neighbor,’ contrary to God’s explicit instructions.

While in a particular instance the Lord may lead a Christian to voluntarily participate in a given aspect of the mandates -for example, perhaps avoiding offering a hand shake or a hug, or keeping a distance, so as not to cause unnecessary offense- the lockdown mandates are contrary to God’s plan for neighbors, and so, as mandates, cannot be countenanced by the Christian.

Is your neighbor in need?  Then Go and you do likewise, as did a certain Samaritan, for the lockdown mandates are oppose to the God-ordained institution of neighborliness.  The lockdown mandates are not of God, if submission to them would nullify the commands of God.


Test number six: Do the lockdown mandates involve sin specifically warned against in the Scriptures?

As we have already observed in the second test, the lockdown mandates flow from the preexisting disposition of the civil authority to usurp the rights, authority and prerogatives of God; thus, compliance with any dictate of government as a subject to it is an inherently idolatrous act.

However, the lockdown mandates take this to a new and more overt level of intensity as the civil authority uses a crisis of its own making, and, magnifying the fear as leverage in the hearts of men, further supplants God in the eyes of its subjects and thus advance the one world order agenda that dates back to Nimrod and ancient Babylon (Genesis 11); an agenda that, according the the Scriptures, will culminate in the worldwide outright worship of a false Christ.

We think it is clear that the Church has not adequately wrestled with the problem of idolatry that is so pervasive in daily life, and is therefore especially threatening to those who profess Christ, but who yet wish to remain in cozy kinship with the world.

But this seems like flirting with the Second Death, for it is written,

You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)


And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into Gehenna; yes, I say to you, Fear Him! (Luke 12:5)

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them; for I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous Mighty God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing goodness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-5-6, emphasis added)

The civil authority suppresses and ‘forgets’ God, and conducts itself as if it were God.  How then has the civil authority not become a graven image, before whom the subjects must bow down?

Then the herald cried with strength: To you it is commanded O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you shall fall down and prostrate yourselves before the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. And whoever does not fall down and prostrate themselves, at that moment they will be thrown into the middle of a burning fiery furnace. So at that time when all the people heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and languages fell down, prostrating themselves before the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. (Daniel 3:4-7)

But three men feared God.  They refused, and were rescued by God out of the fire.

But now, the Bible declares, believers will glorify God not by being saved out of the fire, but by remaining faithful and being martyred in the fire.

Church, are you preparing yourself accordingly?

But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not do homage to demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which are not able to see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders nor their sorceries nor their sexual perversions nor their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21)

The apostolic witness makes it clear that maintaining vigilance against the temptation to idolatry is a core concern for the Church, and that it is neither legalistic to be on guard against it, nor safe to practice it:

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols, from sexual perversion, from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:19-20, emphasis added)

And Paul adds:

Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine is like gold or silver or stone, something engraved by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere and with a quiet compliance that advances to repent [of idolatry], because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:29-31, [editorial added])

Just in case Paul’s oration wasn’t clear enough that the warning against idolatry applies not merely to the heathen but also to the Church, as he wrote, all men everywhere, the apostle John, speaking even more plainly to the Church, is crystal clear:

Little children, keep yourselves away from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)

Compliance with the lockdown mandates as mandates is inherently idolatrous, and is therefore sin:  Sin unto the heathen, and sin even unto the Christian.

But the lockdown mandates also appear to be training exercises for even greater expression of this sin, for in Revelation, we read:

And it was given to him to give spirit to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not do homage to the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, so that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:15-17)

And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone does homage to the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His anger. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who do homage to the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the perseverance of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:9-12)

Notice the requirement by the Antichrist, here called the beast, that all must receive a mark that is of the beast, for no one will be allowed to buy or sell without having first taken that mark.  This requirement is linked to a demand that all must do homage to the image of the beast or be killed.

While there is much interpretative controversy within Christian circles over these words, all Christians ought to be able to agree on two things:

    1. The Scriptures declare that there is a test;
    2. That test is of such consequence that failure results in certain, irreversible and everlasting judgment.

Many professing Christ embrace amillennialism ( and some, postmillenialism) and may embrace partial or full preterism; these believers more or less allegorize this warning or claim that it has only historical relevance.  Others, of premillennial persuasion, typically interpret this warning to refer to an actual final Antichrist yet to come, who will be requiring an actual mark be taken by everyone alive sometime in those last days just prior to the Second Coming of Christ; those embracing premillennial views are divided between those who believe the Church will be taken out of the world prior to the advent of Antichrist and his mark, and those who believe that the Church will see these things and be subject to this final test.

We know of no other interpretative possibilities, apart from those derived from occult mysticism or rank unbelief.

In the pretribulation premillennial, amillennial and postmillennial interpretative frameworks, the Church is not expected to confront a literal Antichrist that is the culmination of the ages, or to have to resist taking a literal mark or name or number of the beast.

Nevertheless, on the basis of the plethora and urgency of the relevant Scriptures, we argue that it is the bounden duty of every Christian -regardless of his interpretive framework- to be on guard against participating in even the form or appearance of such a severe and consequential test, as it is written:

Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

…hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude 1:23b)

If, regarding the Antichrist and his mark, the fullness is evil and defiling, then surely the things that appear to be preparatory exercises for receiving the Antichrist and his mark, are also evil and defiling, and, thus, we are warned to abstain from every form of evil… even of the junior varsity persuasion.

Furthermore, the Church ought to stand boldly against the lockdown mandates, for the Scriptures declare to the Church both that, as the ultimate test is real and that to fail this test is unforgivable mortal sin, so also the pattern of that test is sin, as it is written:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

Therefore, it is the duty and privilege of the Church to take a public stand against the rising tide of sin in high places.  But the Church cannot do so, when she is compromised by compliance and conformity that keep her from serving God or knowing His will, as it is written:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

We observe that the lockdown mandates share many features with this perilous test of Revelation: No one may buy or sell without the permission of the civil authority, no one may buy or sell without wearing a mask, observing a curfew, maintaining six feet distance etc.  We absolutely do not believe that the lockdown mandates constitute THE mark of the beast described in Revelation.  However, they are certainly consistent with the spirit of that mark, and with the world’s effort to condition all -including the Church- to take that mark.  In other words, they foreshadow such a mark, as they are wholly consistent with the ramp-up we would expect as the spirit of the world prepares the world to receive the ultimate mark of Revelation.  And, due to the idolatrous nature of the lockdown mandates (see test number two), the mandates are further consistent with what would be expected as part of the world’s effort at conditioning people to do homage to the image of the beast or be killed.

Therefore, when considering the lockdown mandates, the Church should not quibble over proper end-times interpretation; for if the Bible warns against Something Dreadful, and we are then confronted with a shadow of that, how are we Spiritual or mature if we act as though we are comfortable seeing how close we can get to the apostasy cliff, without falling over?  Or, when commanded to engage in what amounts to an ungodly training exercise, why does the Church appear to think she can comply, yet remain strong enough to safely change course when the real day of reckoning comes her way?

So do not be as some, who, espousing a pretribulation rapture of the Church, say the church will be spared the advent of Antichrist… as if that makes it okay to engage in conduct akin to that which the Bible declares to be mortal sin; and do not be as those who allegorize these passages or who say that they are already fulfilled, and therefore see those warnings as of no specific consequence to the Christian; for in both cases, that attitude is as one condoning premarital intercourse, yet approving premarital foreplay; approving of lust, yet condemning fornication; in these, the attitude is one of compromise, rather than that of pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of the believer; it is approving of that which God hates; it is carnal.

Rather, the Christian ought to soberly consider the relevant apostolic imperatives spoken to the Church, of which here are a few:

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Therefore, Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:6-11)

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His possession, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:4-5,9)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8, emphasis added)

How much is the visible Church -that tends to rank Biblical admonitions according to carnal standards of convenience and hypocrisy- on guard against cowardice and idolatry, both here shown to be characteristics of those who never enter into eternal life?  The cowardly, in particular, are from among the Church:  They are those who knew the good they ought to have done, but were afraid to do it.

If anyone wants to argue for compliance with the lockdown mandates as mandates, then let him demonstrate, from the Scriptures, how in spite of the idolatrous nature of the civil authority and its decrees, and in spite of the uncomfortably tight correspondence between the lockdown mandates and the mark of the beast, it is nevertheless of faith to submit as to one with authority, for

…whatever is not out of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23b)

We fear the Church is largely unprepared for such exercises.  For although we ought to be mature, the Church is largely weak and unproductive, not heeding the apostolic admonitions:

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on all the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Therefore take up all the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

We express our suspicion that the visible Church has not done all, and thus is not going to stand then… as she is not now standing as she ought.

The apostle Paul warns against the wisdom of this age, and the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing (1 Corinthians 2:6b).  Paul exhorts the Church to receive, along with him, the remedy for Spiritual weakness:

…not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which human wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:12-16)

The Christian should neither flirt with nor practice idolatry, and neither should he receive the spirit of the world that is preparing the way for the advent of the New World Order under its ultimate man of sin and lawlessness, who is Antichrist; but, rather, he should receive the Spirit who is from God.  How shall he do that, except by the mind of Christ that is found in His Word, the Bible, by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit?  Therefore -whatever the Christian’s interpretation of end-times events- the Church ought to heed the apostolic warning:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, being devoted to corrupting spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1)

The lockdown mandates appear to us to be unmistakably of corrupting spirits and doctrines of demons, entirely inconsistent with Biblical faith and suspiciously what we would expect of the world system as it works to prepare the world to receive the mark of the beast, which is the ultimate Spiritual test as declared in Revelation.  As a result, the lockdown mandates do in fact involve analogs of corresponding sin warned against in Scripture.  Thus, they fail this sixth test.


Test number seven: Do the lockdown mandates in any way oppose or undermine the otherwise unfettered Christian practice of loving and serving the brethren according to the Scriptures, bearing one another’s burdens according to the Scriptures and daily κοινωνία (koinonia) according to the Scriptures?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I love you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love mutually with one another. (John 13:34-35)

So said Jesus.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

So said Paul.  And just a few verses later, Paul expands:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

And what about the neighbor who is your brother?  As it is written:

Now all the believers were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to each person, as anyone had need. So continuing day by day with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44-47)

Now the multitude of those believing were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. (Acts 4:32)

Nor was there anyone needy among them; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and placed them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 5:34-35)

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)

And again,

We then who are strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to building up. (Romans 15:1-2)

John adds, regarding the tendency of the Spiritually immature to forget that Christian love is of a higher order and priority than natural affection:

By this we know the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. (1 John 3:16-19)

How can the professing Christian submit to the lockdown mandates impingements upon free travel as well as public and private gathering, and remain faithful to the high Biblical premium placed upon robust family relationships within the household of God?

How can such Christians know that [they] are of the truth, and shall assure [their] hearts before Him when they, through their choices, show love to the civil authority at the expense of the brethren?

But perhaps the contemporary Christian cannot remain faithful, if he hasn’t been faithful.  This test of the lockdown mandates may prove to be one of the most personally difficult for many professing believers, because while all are enjoined by God to prioritize Spiritual family over all other earthly considerations, few appear to even have this on their radar.

And fewer yet are doers.

Again:  How can we Christians assure our hearts before Him if we do not walk in the truth?

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth. (1 John 1:4)


I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many corrupters have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a corrupter and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we have produced, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:4-9)

John’s words only supplement the Words of Jesus:

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I love you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:12-14)

Notice that Jesus said nothing about doing whatever I command you ‘within the parameters set for you by the unbeliever, the hypocrite and the civil authority.’

Let us take our Spiritual measure by Jesus’ yardstick.  By the measure He gave us (John 15:12-14), will He say You are My friends?

Within the professing church, we observe personal and corporate failure in the arena of Spiritual family relations.  Christian priorities here simply don’t seem to comport with the Scriptures, and we expect this problem to constitute a formidable barrier to making a right judgment with respect to the impact of the mandates on the practice of brotherly love and κοινωνία.

Yet the witness of the early believers presents the pattern for us to follow:

Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ to the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.  And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation. Then those who gladly received his word were immersed; and that day about three thousand souls were added. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs took place through the apostles. Now all the believers were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to each person, as anyone had need. So continuing day by day with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:40-47)

Herein is the pattern: The evangelist preached the Bad News; the hearers responded, ‘what shall we do?’; those hearers called by God then heard the Good News: Be saved from this perverse generation: Repent… be immersed… receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; then, those believing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine that was rooted and grounded in the daily koinonia by κοινωνία etc.

Steadfastly notice their fear and the many apostolic wonders and signs among them, their unity, their selflessness and sharing according to the Scriptures, and the daily growth that attended their steadfastness in their faith.

Let us then follow the example of the early church, as not is written:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so persistently harasses us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners against Himself, that you not become weary and faint in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:1-4)

Are we who profess Christ looking unto Jesus, or are we looking unto the world that seeks to encumber and harass us so that we do not, in fact, run the race set before us?  Or are we soft, carnal, seeking to avoid persecution unto bloodshed, striving against sin, seeking rather to prolong our safe lives, preferring, to quote A.W. Tozer, the playground over battleground?

How can the contemporary Christian at once submit to the lockdown mandates that unarguably interfere with steadfastly living in right family relationship with other Christians, and also have assurance of his calling and election?

The apostle says that one test of a valid Christian testimony is having an open heart to one’s brother with respect to material needs… and who follows up with tangible actions?

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cleave to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, leading the way before one another in honor; not slothful in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13)

Are we, as Christians, faithful in these regards?  Or are we hypocrites: Christians in name only, who live our lives according to the dictates of the spirit of the world that is at enmity with God, and enjoying a churchianity, a sham, a token, ‘freedom of worship’ breadcrumbs tossed to us by a mocking world?

For example: Are we diligently, fervently, in Christian faith and brotherly love, given to hospitality in spite of the lockdown mandates, trusting God for the temporal consequences?

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

Without a fuss, the lockdown mandates fail test number seven… heartbreakingly, along with much of the Church, perhaps?

Test number eight: Could the mature Christian’s compliance with the mandates in any way be reasonably expected to present a stumbling block to those of weak conscience, such as an immature Christian (1 Corinthians 8 and 10) or an unbeliever (Romans 14)?

When the ‘mature’ Christian submits to the lockdown mandates that necessarily involve elevating the civil government at the expense of the worship of God, and he compromises the performance of the imperatives the Lord has given to His Church, and he neglects the commissions, koinonia and traditions the Lord has entrusted to His Church -and regarding which the Church is expected to prove faithful (1 Colossians 4:2)- the weak or immature believer observes this compromise on the the part of the one he sees as more mature, and his conscience is reprogrammed to approve of what the Bible disapproves; the weak brother now judges the Scriptures according to the standards of the flesh, and is destroyed by the appearance of the purportedly stronger brother submitting himself to the civil government as though it were at least equal to God.  As the consumption of meat sacrificed to an idol may become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Corinthians 8 and 10; Romans 14), so too does fleshly compromise submission become a stumbling block to those not yet weaned from Spiritual milk and now, having no training on Spiritual meat, are unable to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:12-14). Therefore, compliance with the mandates involves the sin of misleading and perhaps destroying the weaker, immature brother that, by all appearances, is the disproportionately most populous component of the contemporary Church.  As the Church is badly underweight with respect to mature men and women -and especially Spiritual Fathers and mothers- compliance with the lockdown mandates as mandates among those seen as Spiritual leaders has the potential to destroy the consciences and the Spiritual prospects of the majority of the brethren!

Now with respect to thefts specifically, we read

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone does not desire to work, neither shall he eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

Yet the civil authority, having first manufactured a crisis that resulted in massive unemployment and economic hardship, provides ‘emergency relief’ -dare we say, compliance payoffs?- in the form of extra unemployment ‘benefits’ that together with regular benefits, often exceed the income from honest labor.  Thus, with deft strokes, the civil authority creates the crisis; then it undermines the character and conscience of the afflicted, by making them the ‘beneficiaries’ of relief payments, hooks the public on the addicting-yet-toxic liquor of inflation-generating universal basic income, and fosters permanent dependence upon government dole.

Paul’s directive is to the point; he simply calls it theft:

Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

“Relief’ and ‘welfare’ and other forms of government progressive fiscal policy are not authorized by God, as these programs not only usurp and co-opt the role of the neighbor in the life of those in any sort of need (we dealt with this in the fifth test); they also constitute theft, because the government can only ‘give’ what it took from someone who had.

When the ‘mature’ Christian applies for and receives ‘relief’ provisions from government, he ought to first confirm three things:  That the government was both authorized by God to provide such ‘relief’; that the government had, in its lawful possession, the funds to be distributed; and, as soldier-ambassadors on assignment from the Great King, participation in such ‘relief’ advances the Kingdom purposes without compromise of the Christian’s sole reliance upon God, or repudiation of the Christian’s status as a citizen of heaven… in, but not of, this world.

The mature Christian will be diligent to conduct himself in such a manner that he is not compromised by this world, lest he then be unable to engage in His Lord’s business, that is the decrying of the ungodliness of this world.  Through the enticement of ‘relief’ and other welfare and wealth distribution larcenies, the world seeks to compromise the Christian, and, thus, it silences the him.  This is well pictured in the mask mandates, that clearly convey ‘Shut up!’

Since we are on the subject of theft, let us more specifically address the grandest of all larcenies: That is, the civil authority usurping the place of God in the eyes of the subjects.

The Christian is God’s representative to the world.  The task of the Christian in the world is to proclaim Him -and the fear of Him- among the nations, as it is written:

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For Jehovah is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Jehovah made the heavens. (Psalm 96:3-5)

The nations means everyone who is not a born-again believer (or national apostate Israel, that already has the revelation of His glory and His wonders, and was supposed to be doing the ‘declaring’ of Psalm 96).  He is to be feared above all gods, including the civil authority that ‘forgets’ God and seeks the place of God in the hearts, minds and lives of the people.

But God says to all,

O man, He has declared to you what is good. And what does Jehovah require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)


You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)

Thus, God is Himself the standard, and He has given His standard to us, right from wrong, just so.

But man says

let us make a name for ourselves (Genesis 11:4)

Micah offers God’s evaluation:

For her rich ones are full of violence, and her inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. (Micah 6:12)

And, under the dominion of the devil (1 John 5:19b), the governments of the world are clearly seen to compete with God for the worship of the world:

You have set your heart as the heart of God (Ezekiel 28:6b)… By the abundance of your trading they filled your midst with violence, and you sinned (Ezekiel 28:16b)

The civil authority has set its heart as the heart of God.  With all ambition and zeal, it sets out makes a name for itself.  It establishes itself as the standard of justice… another god before Him, as it is written:

There is no fear of God before his eyes. (Psalm 36:1b)

Thus the civil authority then tells the Christian -free from the law and no citizen here, an ambassador appointed by the Great King who is coming again- that although the Christian’s King has commanded much with respect to filial duties within the family of God, and detailed much pertaining to his ambassadorial duties, nevertheless, the Christian must surely defer to the civil authority, and submit to its various prohibitions.

But God is not interested in sharing His glory:

A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My fear? says Jehovah of Hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, In what way have we despised Your name? You offer defiled food on My altar, and say, In what way have we defiled You? By saying, The table of Jehovah is to be held in contempt. And if you offer the blind in sacrifice, is it not evil? And if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Bring it now to your governor. Will he be pleased with you or receive you favorably? says Jehovah of Hosts. (Malachi 1:6-8)

Now therefore, he said, put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto Jehovah the God of Israel. (Joshua 24:23)

No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

Paul’s words to the unbelieving Athenians also have foundational implications for how the Christian relates to the civil authority

Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine is like gold or silver or stone, something engraved by art and man’s devising [for example, lawless governmental decrees and policies]. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:29-31, [note added])

The apostle assures us that, since the Cross, all men everywhere are commanded to repent of their idolatry, for with the revelation of the crucified and risen Lord, there is now no excuse.  Does that command apply only to the heathen, and not to those who profess Christ?

Now consider the conscience of the young and weak Christian.  He sees the ‘more mature’ Christian submitting to the lockdown mandates as mandates, as though subject to them, and even perhaps applying for and receiving ‘relief’ funds; this in spite of these things having the appearance of idols, for they do contradict the precepts of God; and, the ‘more mature’ Christian has submitted without showing the less mature Christian, from the whole counsel of God, either how the various governmental actions in question are authorized by God, or on what basis the Christian is viewed by God as subject to the provisions of the lockdown mandates.   When he, the less mature Christian, reads the Scriptures, how is he  then to understand them in light of the words and conduct of those he deems Spiritually more mature, but who yet appear to serve two masters… with priority given to the worldly Lord?

And what of the onlooking unbeliever?  How can he help but conclude, ‘See how these Christians are just like us:  They follow first the government decree, and only after that, with what liberty remains,  do they follow the commands of their God; therefore, they follow just another powerless god among many, whom they neither fear nor love enough to give more than lip service!’  When the unbeliever sees the Christian subjected, untransformed and lukewarm, where is the power?  Can light shine out of the life of the worldly Christian, and into the darkness of the lost condition of the unbeliever?

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 3:5-7)

But does the visible Church really have that treasure in earthen vessels, unless the light of the transformed life shines out from it in the sight of the unbelieving world?

And if the Christian does not stand firm on the sole guidance of the Word, but instead compromises (even, as he may comfort himself, ‘for the sake of the gospel,’ as we have been at pains to hear from the lips of some), and thus, out of his fear of men and of temporal suffering, he dims his lamp… where then is the motivation for the unbeliever, who sees the Christian just as oppressed and conforming as himself, to taste, and to see that the Lord is good?

I sought Jehovah, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him, and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard, and delivered him out of all his troubles. The Angel of Jehovah encamps round about those who fear Him, and rescues them. O taste and see that Jehovah is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him. O fear Jehovah, you His holy ones; for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him. (Psalm 34:4-9)

Do we Christians, by our conduct, show that we believe that blessed is the man who trusts in Him and there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him?

Can the Christian, submitting to the lockdown mandates as mandates, declare with clean conscience and in his right mind, that he submits on the basis of the whole counsel of God, out of faithful reverence for the God who guided David to compose those words regarding circumstances involving dire threat from a from a civil authority?

Can the Christian declare that he loves his God, and that he loves neither the world, nor anything in the world, and that his focus is on pleasing his God and on storing up treasure in Heaven?

Where is the power of God in the life of the Christian who submits out of less than the full assurance of the whole counsel of God?

Paul perceived the promise of this power, and was overawed to the point of great boldness, as it is written:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who is believing, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is clearly recognized by them, for God has revealed it to them. (Romans 1:16-19)

O Christian: do you believe this, and are you appropriately motivated thereby, to boldly proclaim the gospel and also shine the light on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness even as they say ‘Put on a mask and shut up!’?

Quotes Paul:  The just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)

Do we Christians live by faith?  Or, do we live according to the unrenewed mind of our former way of life, from which we were ostensibly saved?

Paul understood not only the urgency of the gospel (the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men), but also the promise of God:  The power of the gospel to transform those who live by faith in the God by whom men are saved from wrath.  Christian witness is the power of God unto salvation when that Christian lives by faith; but gospel witness is powerless when the Christian lives by the dictates of the world that are at odds with faith, for if the gospel is of no visible effect in the life of the Christian, then the gospel is profaned in the eyes of the unbeliever.

How can the Christian have a clear conscience before God and men, while endorsing the mandates through defeated lives characterized by powerless compromise?

Put another way:  Since the lockdown mandates are not authorized by God, are neither safe nor effective and are broadly destructive to the neighbors and brothers whom we are charged to love, how can the Christian be at once living by faith and voluntarily submitting to the lockdown mandates?

How can such a man be sure that is he not prioritizing his own temporal convenience, and seeking to avoid persecution?

How can the immature and weak Christian not have his conscience malprogrammed, when he sees the more mature Christian comply with that which God opposes, apply for and accept ‘relief’ that God forbids, and whose Christian work depend upon the pleasure of the civil authority:  When may we leave our homes?  When may we resume meeting in person?  When may we again gather in groups exceeding a certain small size?  When may we sing, or greet one another according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, or lay on hands for prayer and consecration?  When may we minister to one another and to those outside the Church, visiting the sick, the orphan, the widow, the prisoner and the aged?  When may we evangelize, person-to-person, and as great multitudes were gathered together to Him (Matthew 13:2) according to the working of the Holy Spirit through His servants who preach Jesus the Christ to the lost and dying world to which they are sent?

The mature Christian is called to serve the less mature by example, by training him up in righteousness, by exposition and by showing him how, by faith, to bear up under persecutions; he is to edify the less mature to the glory of God:

We then who are strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to building up. (Romans 15:1-2)

That is, the more mature ought to conduct himself in loving, kind patience toward the less mature, yet all the while spurring him on toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).  Paul did not mean that the more mature ought to lower the bar in order to appease the weak, lest the weak fall away.

Of weak Gideon, we read:

And Jehovah turned to him and said, Go in this might of yours, and you shall deliver Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you? (Judges 6:14)

But the weak Church, making no proper recourse to the Scriptures, determines ‘We are subject to these Midianites who rule over us and take our harvest, and so we will honor God by submitting to them, and by not going.’

But such an attitude is contrary to God, as it is written:

Do not be wise in your own opinion. (Romans 12:16c)


Do not bring to naught the work of God on account of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man whose eating causes a stumbling block. It is good not to eat flesh nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is enticed to sin or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not out of faith; for whatever is not out of faith is sin. (Romans 14:20-23)

And neither should we who are esteemed Spiritual bring to naught the work of God on account of our carnality (whether that be preference for tension avoidance, habitual contentment with mediocrity, fear of discomfort, fear of others’ disapproval or bald hypocrisy in the form of fair-weather Spirituality) for the weak and immature Christian looks to those purported to be leaders -fathers and mothers in the faith- as those who are more mature, and who have added to their faith virtue, and to virtue, knowledge (2 Peter 1:5), who discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14) and who are doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving themselves. (James 1:22).

If the lockdown mandates are not from God, and if the Bible contains verses that require Christian conduct that is inconsistent with those lockdown mandates, and yet those considered Christian leaders submit themselves to the lockdown mandates, and, by their example, lead the less mature in doing so, then how are the conscience of the less mature Christian not be confused, with both the conscience and the soul of both in jeopardy as a consequence?

Again, as it is written:

Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not out of faith; for whatever is not out of faith is sin. (Romans 14:22-23)

Therefore, the more mature within the household of God must be faithful not to simply live before God, but also before -that is, in the sight of- the less mature, to train them up in the way they should go, according to the Scriptures:

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)


And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

The more mature ought to train up the less mature, that they may become able, on the basis of the Scriptures, to determine for themselves good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

The Church has been given the keys:  Being understood, to proclaim on earth with Spiritual authority, with respect to eternal life and eternal judgment, according to the Scriptures, and also Godly Christian living according to the scriptures:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against It. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be, having been loosed in Heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19)

Let us be careful that, for our part, the visible Church is not be found to have taken God’s name in vain, and that the gates of hell do not in fact prevail against her.

With respect both to the conscience of the weak brother and that of the unbeliever, compliance with the lockdown mandates as mandates by the Christian and the visible Church does indeed pose a real and present danger.

And such compliance on the part of those Christians considered more mature or, regardless of Spiritual maturity, are those to which others look for guidance, as examples, and who will be called by God to give account as such -husbands and fathers, those considered Spiritual fathers, civic leaders who profess Christ etc- are themselves endangered in their consciences toward God, as it is written:

Therefore whatever they tell you to observe [that is, from the Scriptures], that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. (Matthew 23:3, [editorial added])

Obey those in authority over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. (Hebrews 13:17a)

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

The lockdown mandates therefore fail this eighth test, for compliance with them causes the conscience of the weak and the ‘mature’ Christian alike to flash ‘green’ contrary to the Scriptures, and thus, thus conscience, which when confronted by the lockdown mandates should flash ‘red,’ is reprogrammed, seared, destroyed.

Compliance further undermines the Christian’s gospel witness to the unbeliever who sees the Christian submitting to the civil authority at the expense of service to his God; the unbeliever then profanes the name of God on account of the apparent powerlessness of that God in the lives of those who are called by His name; for although the unbeliever, upon hearing the Ten Commandments, was once troubled by the prospect of facing the One who will judge him by that standard, is now tempted, by the visible compromise of the Christian, to have contempt for the God of the Christian, and for His Commandments.



[Check back soon for tests nine and ten, and conclusions.]