Saturday, January 22, 2022

Hold On

Hold on to Integrity | Faith | Courage | Freedom

Have we noticed how often God pushes or allows things to be pushed to the limit? Remember:

Abraham & Isaac
How Abraham's hand, holding the sacrificial knife, was in the air before the angel spoke: “Lay not thine hand upon the lad ...”1

King Hezekiah
How Jerusalem was surrounded by a formidable, cruel, conquering Assyrian army of 185,000, camped for the night, ready to attack at dawn. But before the sun arose, the entire army had succumbed to something in the night and all were dead.2

The Prophecy Believers
How the hostility against believers in a prophecy (that at Christ's birth there would be a day, a night and a day as one day) was so great that the mockers and unbelievers threatened “that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass.” And how, on the eve of that threat, the sign commenced.3

Apostle Peter
How Peter, lying in prison, awaiting a morning judgment by the same king Herod who had recently killed James, his brother in the Gospel, was awakened by an angel and led through prison gates to freedom.4

In these cases, rescue came at nigh the last minute as has been done thousands of times for others, though most did not know till that last minute whether rescue would come in this life or whether it would come after death – at the resurrection.

In this COVID-19 scenario (and coming substitute crises), we won't know what the tyrannical limit will be allowed to be — whether some will be required to endure a Viktor Frankl experience or worse.5 Few could have imagined the many historical atrocities in the months before the atrocities began: the India / Pakistan partition, Mao's Cultural Revolution, Nazi Germany, Pol Pot in Cambodia, the Rwandan and Kosovo tragedies, the French and other European Revolutions, the Phoenix Program6 in Viet Nam, the Iraq War, and on and on.

Yes, many, despite their honorable choices, will not be rescued in this life like Abraham, Isaac, and the other examples, or like Viktor Frankl who found him still miraculously alive when the allied forces arrived at the camp gates.7

So what is the lesson in last minute rescues? Is it to trust God to the end — whatever end it proves to be? If we give in to demands that violate our conscience, our bodily integrity, our knowledge, how will we know if some sort of rescue might have come had we endured in integrity, faith, courage, and in defense of freedom?

Let us hold on — through and past the deadlines, the mandates, the threats. God is in this crisis. It is both: 1) a test of trust in and love for God; and 2) a test of how we will use our power and influence vis-à-vis our fellow beings in helping them also prove faithful in the first test (of trust in and love for God).

Thus, a vital question is: Have we, like the church at Ephesus, left our first love8 thinking that alleged love of our neighbor (the second love9) justifies trusting in the arm of flesh or trusting in those who have proven, time after time, to be liars and deceivers?10

So what is our stance on vaccination? Are we willing to honor God-given agency or do we demand compliance to a disputed narrative coercing an experimental injection? And what is it that coercion honors? a Nazi-like narrative11? the power, gain, glory, and domination agendas of a world gone mad violating Constitutions, Bills and Charters of Rights, and God-given freedoms? violating the Nuremberg Code12? violating the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights13? violating the Declaration of Helsinki14?

Let us: “Remember therefore from whence [we are] fallen, and repent, and do the first works.”

Let us: Say NO to fear; Say NO to coercion; Endure in faith to the end, whatever that end may be.

1. Old Testament | Genesis 22:1013
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
2. Old Testament | 2 Kings 19:32–35
32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.
33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.
34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
35 ¶ And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
3. Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 1:6–20
6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.
7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.
8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.
10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.
16 And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.
17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.
18 For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief. 19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid–day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
4. New Testament | Acts 12:111
1 NOW about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
5. Browning, Christopher R.. Ordinary Men. Harper Perennial. Kindle Edition.
6. Valentine, Douglas. The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam (Forbidden Bookshelf) . Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.
7. Frankl, Viktor E.. Man's Search for Meaning (p. 56-62). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.
8. New Testament | Revelation 2:4 - 7 (Bold emphasis added.)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
9. New Testament | Matthew 22:36 - 40 (Bold emphasis added.)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
12. Nuremberg Code
First Point of 10 The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs, or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity. (
See also Nuremberg Principles:
13. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
[Two examples of 30]
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. {Vaxxers vs. Non-vaxxers?]
Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
14. The Declaration of Helsinki (...) is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed originally in 1964 for the medical community by the World Medical Association (WMA).[1] It is widely regarded as the cornerstone document on human research ethics. ...
The Declaration is morally binding on physicians, and that obligation overrides any national or local laws or regulations, if the Declaration provides for a higher standard of protection of humans than the latter. Investigators still have to abide by local legislation but will be held to the higher standard.
Basic principles
The fundamental principle is respect for the individual (Article 8), his right to self-determination and the right to make informed decisions (Articles 20, 21 and 22) regarding participation in research, both initially and during the course of the research. The investigator's duty is solely to the patient (Articles 2, 3 and 10) or volunteer (Articles 16, 18), and while there is always a need for research (Article 6), the subject's welfare must always take precedence over the interests of science and society (Article 5), and ethical considerations must always take precedence over laws and regulations (Article 9). |