PANDEMIC, PANGOLIN, PANDEMONIUM, PAN – BUT BE CAREFUL HOW WE PRAY LEST WE ARE FOUND OPPOSING GOD
By Pastor Barbara Miller 17.3.20
Pandemic, pangolin, pandemonium, panic, Pan. What do all these have in common – a false god called Pan who creates panic. But let’s come back to that.
When there is a crisis, before praying we need to ask ourselves if this comes from God or not. According to tradition, Gamaliel succeeded his father, Simon, and his grandfather, the renowned sage Hillel to be president of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court. Gamaliel intervened on behalf of the Apostles of Jesus when they had been arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Interestingly we find later in Acts 22:3 that Apostle Paul was a student of Gamaliel. But what Gamaliel said has been ringing in my mind for some time as being critical to how we pray in a crisis. He said that we don’t want to find ourselves opposing God:
“But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:39).
REGARDING COVID-19 THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OPTIONS:
- The Coronavirus is a judgement from God because of sin
- The Coronavirus is a shaking sent by God to turn people to Him
- God is not causing it but allowing it to occur
- It is man made
- It is demonic
- It is from God but the demonic is using it to spread fear or panic
1. The Covid-19 is a judgement from God because of sin
There are numerous instances in the Old Testament or Tanakh that attest to God sending plagues or pestilences because of sin. God sent the 10 plagues on Egypt so they would let His people go from slavery to the Promised Land. (Exodus 8:17, 9:10).
Even after they saw God deal with the rebellion against Moses of Korah and his supporters by opening up the earth and swallowing them alive to their grave, the next morning, the whole community of Israel muttered against Moses and Aaron saying they were responsible for the deaths. This was despite the miracles God had shown and that they were His appointed leaders so God sent a plague or pestilence. (Nu 16:41-50). The Lord also sent a plague on them for despising His provision of manna (Numbers 11:33).
Pestilence is one of God’s four severe judgements. “For thus says the Lord GOD, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!” (Ezekiel 14:21).
In the time of David, the Lord sent pestilence on King David’s subjects because he numbered them. “So, the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.” (2 Samuel 24:15-25).
God told His people then and He tells us now, to come out of Babylon or the world’s system and way of thinking. “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; (Revelation 18:4). These are only some examples as it is a recurrent theme throughout scripture.
2. The Covid-19 is a shaking sent by God to turn people to Him.
When we were praying for the drought, this scripture came strongly to me and it is relevant for the bushfires and coronavirus as well but this does not discount that God is a righteous Judge. God wants a harvest of souls for His kingdom. He wants that none should perish and if He has to shake us up to get us thinking of eternity, He will. “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:6-7).
In Isaiah 13:13 and Habakkuk 3:6, God also speaks of shaking the earth and the nations. Shaking and sifting are similar and we know in the last days, the wheat will be separated from the tares or weeds. We wonder why there is evil in the world but God will sift it out, shake it and judge it. He shakes His own people as well. “For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is shaken in a sieve, But not a kernel will fall to the ground.” (Amos 9:9). Again, God speaks of shaking and judgement in the same scripture.
“For the LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the LORD to anger.” (1 Kings 14:15).
The glory, majesty and awe of God causes every living creature to shake at His presence and every high thing, natural or manmade will collapse and fall down before Him. Even the powers in the heavens will be shaken:
“The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.” (Ezekiel 38:20).
“men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:26).
However, there is a good side to this shaking as it brings in the harvest. In fact, the shaking by the wind of the Holy Spirit at Shavuot or Pentecost led to the birth of the church. The disciples had prayed long and in unity in the Upper Room and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Peter then preached and 3,000 were saved. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
Also, Paul and Silas had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel when God sent an earthquake to shake the foundations of the prison and free them. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:25-26).
We should welcome the shaking by the Lord as it will remove ungodly things and godly things will remain. We should not fear it but have compassion for those affected. “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE
NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:26-27).
3. God is not causing it but allowing it to occur.
This is a big topic on its own so I’ll just deal briefly with it here. Why didn’t God create a world where tragedy and suffering don’t occur?” He did. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen 1:31). So, if God did not create tragedy or evil, where did they come from? God gave us free will to love Him or not. He doesn’t force us to love Him. However, we have abused our free will by rejecting God resulting in the introduction of evil into the world.
Sometimes God takes His hands off a situation and leaves us to our own devices, receiving the results of our sins. Psalm 81:12 says, “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” Also, Romans 1:24 says something similar:
“Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.”
4. It is man made
The Coronavirus originated in Wuhan China and it is believed to have come from a wild food and seafood market. The pangolin has been singled out as a possible source of the Coronavirus. It is a creature like an armadillo covered with scales and also like an anteater. While it is available in a number of Asian nations including southern China, it is the most trafficked animal in the world and is illegally trafficked from India and Africa etc. It is eaten as a luxury food in China and its scales are prized for medicinal purposes.
However, there is also the possibility that Covid-19 leaked from a biological weapons lab in Wuhan whether by accident or design.
Flu epidemics have occurred throughout history with millions dying. So, this is not a new thing. In the past there have been the Bubonic Plague or Black Death caused by bacteria carried by fleas on black rats resulting in 75 to 200 million deaths in Europe and Asia in the 1300s. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Of these, 774 died. It originated in China, possibly from bats. The 2009-2010 flu pandemic or swine flu was an influenza pandemic similar to the 1918–1920 Spanish flu pandemic but a new strain. 700 million–1.4 billion people, contracted it with about 150,000–575,000 fatalities. The Spanish flu infected 500 million people or about 27% of the world population. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly even as high as 100 million. Its origin is reportedly from birds (avian flu) and the virus was also found in pigs.
It is interesting that in China 2019 was the Year of the Pig and 2020 is the Year of the Rat. While I am not saying we need to eat only kosher food, eating non-kosher food appears to have had a hand in the Covid-19.
I am not saying this is from the Lord but I sense that the Lord may use Coronavirus to bring down President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party in a dramatic fashion the way we had the fall of the Berlin Wall and of the USSR. The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 was a pivotal event in world history which marked the falling of the Iron Curtain and the start of the fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe.
The Covid-19 is called a pandemic because many nations are affected. More people may die through other causes in Australia than Coronavirus e.g. chronic illness and car accidents. However, the big concerns are that it is contagious and there is no vaccine or treatment. There is a concern that hospitals and medical staff will be overwhelmed by it. Emergency responses have resulted in a huge social and economic upheaval in Australia in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
7. It is demonic
If we believe the Coronavirus has been caused by Satan, then we would be saying “the Lord rebuke you Satan” (Zech 3:1-2) or going into spiritual warfare against it. But we need to ask God if it is of Him or if it is demonic. How can we cast out what God is doing or put a restraining order on it or decree it to stop? We don’t want to be found opposing God. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He has the big picture. He knows how to turn situations around for the good, the saving of many lives (Gen 50:20).
8. It is from God but the demonic is using it to spread fear
I believe we can see this happening. I have a summary of a message on Pan below but basically this is a demon that creates fear and panic. God has not given us a spirit of fear. The word says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). We need to exercise caution when we are not in a safe situation but excessive or unfounded fear and all panic are from the pits of hell. The media is useful in providing information about precautions we need to take and government decisions to protect the community. But it has been a tool of the enemy in spreading that panic, to the point where people in Australia are hoarding and fighting over toilet paper in the supermarkets.
The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come to give us abundant life. (John 10:10). Satan is the father of lies and tempts us to sin. He goes around like a false lion seeking who he can devour. (1 Pe 5:8-9). He blinds the eyes of unbelievers. (Cor 4:4). But we can put on the full armour of God. (Eph 6:11-16) and pray the eyes of unbelievers are spiritually opened.
So, which of the above gives us guidance how to pray? Not all pandemics are from God but I think this one is primarily a judgement from God for our sin and a wakeup call to repent. But it is also a shaking so that ungodly things are rattled or removed and that people start thinking of God and eternity rather than the distractions of daily life. It is harvest time. “See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.” (Rev 5:5). Jesus already defeated the dragon or Satan on the cross. Though Satan is fighting to see how many he can take with him, he will be thrown into the lake of fire for eternity. (Rev 20:10). The fourth horseman of the Apocalypse rides a pale green horse and has the power of famine, plague, and to kill by sword and wild beasts (Rev 6:8). God in His mercy has given us a dress rehearsal for the end times and all the signs of the times are here but we are not there yet and Jesus tells us not to be troubled or fearful or panic. As Christians we will be protected by the blood of Jesus:
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.” (Mt 24:6-7)
In the meantime, Satan is getting us to press the panic button and live in fear not faith. His latest trick is to use Covid-19 but he is not the author of it. So, let’s not pray to cast out the Covid-19 but pray to cast out fear and panic and God would have mercy on us to stop the virus.
SO HOW DO WE PRAY?
- Repent for our sins and the sins of our nation as did Daniel and others. (Dan 9:20-21).
- Pray according to 2 Chron 7:13-14. When God sends drought or famine or plague, if the church will humble themselves and pray and repent, God will forgive our sin and
heal our land:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
- Jesus has already paid the price for our sin and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53). We need to dwell in the finished work of the Cross. As well as healing from leprosy, Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood. Luke 8:43-48 KJV says, “And straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” (sometimes translated affliction or illness.)
- Moses commanded Aaron to run amongst the people with incense from burning coals on the altar to purify them when the Lord was angry with them and struck them with plague. He stood between the living and the dead so God to stop the plague. (Nu 16:43-49). We need to pray that God will have mercy and compassion and stop the Covid-19 so it doesn’t spread any further. Protestant churches don’t use incense but the prayers of the saints are like incense. “Now when he [Jesus] had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev 5:8)
- Crying out to God to spare his people from plague after David angered God by counting them, David sacrificed and prayed on the threshing floor of Araunah as commanded by God. The Lord answered his prayer for the land and the plague stopped. (2 Samuel 24:15-25). We need to be filled with the compassion for the people David had for his people. We don’t use animal sacrifices in new covenant times, but the word of God tells us to bring a sacrifice of praise so we need to release extra and extended praise to the
Lord. Hebrews 13:15-16 says:
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
- This scripture shows us we need to do good and share with others, not the hoarding behaviour we are seeing. Pray for opportunities to do good and share and show the love of God.
- Declare the protection of Psalm 91 over ourselves, our family, Australia and the nations. It is intended for Christians but stand in the gap for non-believers.
- Pray for the fear of the Lord to come upon people not the fear of man or the virus. Pray for people to come under conviction of sin and pray for revival.
- Crisis is an opportunity. Thank God for all He has done for us and also thank Him in advance for revival. This shaking is causing people to look for answers. They can’t do business as usual. They may even be facing life and death situations. We need to use this opportunity to evangelize and bring in the harvest. This can be done, not just face to face but also by social media, websites, TV and newspapers etc. We praise the Lord for the Chinese Christians in Wuhan who had the courage and compassion to evangelize and help those stricken by the virus or fearful they would get sick and die.
- Pray that the Christian message will go viral via technology and God would accomplish all His purposes through this pandemic.
- Pray the Lord would send labourers into the harvest and go yourself. (Mt 9:37-38).
- We need to pray that those who are unsaved will turn their hearts and minds to the Lord and that He would sovereignly appear to them or speak to them or they would come across people or material so they would receive the gospel. Pray that the eyes of their understanding would be open to receive the Lord. Pray against their unbelief,
stubbornness and independent spirits that oppose or resist God.
- Pray for the same shaking to come on us as it did on the early church at Pentecost and
that the church would rise up in boldness and faith and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray the church preaches the word with miracles, signs and wonders following. Pray for a wakeup call to the church to move in the authority God has given us.
- Pray that people would lose their appetite for unclean food and unclean sources of medicine.
- Pray that the development of and use of biological weapons would cease.
- Decree that Satan would not use the pandemic of Covid-19 for his evil ways and not use panic and pandemonium to drive people into his kingdom.
- We need to pray for a vaccine and for those who have Coronavirus to be healed and comfort for those who have lost loved ones.
- We need to pray for government, health and other authorities make wise decisions and for health authorities and hospitals etc not to be overwhelmed. And for there to be sufficient testing kits, protective gear for health staff and other equipment necessary.
- We need to pray for special protection for those in nursing and aged homes and the chronically ill.
- We need to pray for the economy to rebound, for jobs to be created not lost and for innovative ways for people to gain income even while in quarantine. Also, for family relationships not to be strained while in self-isolation.
BACK TO PAN – EXCERPT FROM REPORT AUSTRALIA DAY PRAYER WE HOSTED IN CANBERRA
“That night (25.1.2020), I shared an earlier vision I had of PM Scott Morrison in a game of cricket against the ALP and Greens and they were not happy he won (federal elections) and pulled back on climate change and their opposition to religious freedom. However, with bushfires and drought, their confidence came back and were attacking him on climate change, even hitting him with a cricket bat and bowling underarm. As I shared my message, I had a cricket bat and ball with me and decreed that Scott Morrison would not be hit with the bat of climate change or receive an underarm bowl.
As I saw a demon vomiting green matter during that vision, I prayed re the spirit behind this climate change attack on the PM and the Lord showed me Pan, a nature god, half man half goat, a form of Satan. The Lord reminded me that Norman and I took a Christian tour group of 50 to pray at Pan’s grotto and Pan’s temples as part of a tour of Israel in 2017. Pan was known to cause panic which is where that word came from. He was lecherous and his stentorious voice could cause fear and death. This is why we have a panic re climate change.
In Mt 16:17-19, Jesus says that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church. Jesus declared this at Caesarea Philippi and this is where it was revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah the son of the living God. The gates of hell is a physical place here also called the grotto of Pan where the Greek shepherds in the Hellenistic period would sacrifice goats. People came from around the world to this gateway to the underworld. Later after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, the Romans, who also worshipped Pan, took captured Jews there and cruelly killed them in games.
This is not to say that climate change is not an issue and we need good policies to deal with it but the panic mode button has been pressed and it is used for political manipulation. I made decrees regarding climate change and Pan.”
There is a lot more to this message but the point I want to make here is that people are doing irrational things like hoarding and fighting over toilet paper. The panic button has been pressed, partly by government seeking to stop the spread of the virus and partly by media with non-stop reporting. But there is a demonic aspect to it, with a Pan-like entity feeding the fear and panic. So, you may find this decree useful:
WE DECREE that God exalted Jesus (Yeshua) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. Philip 2:9. Jesus’ name is higher than the name of the Covid-19 so we decree His name will be on peoples’ lips more than the Coronavirus. We decree that everything bows the knees to Jesus, including Covid-19.
WE DECREE that all panic and fear attached to this Covid-19 will go in Jesus name and will be replaced by faith in God and peace of mind. We decree that Christians and the church have power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7) and are light and salt to the world, bearing the good news with power, miracles, signs, wonders and healing.
WE DECREE that the church receives revelation from our Father in heaven how to speak and act in this time and that Jesus will build His church and the gates of hell will not overcome it. As Jesus has given us as Christians the key to the kingdom of heaven so that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven, we decree in Jesus name that this panic and fear are bound and we loose repentance, revival, stronger faith in God, healing, miracles and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 16:17-19)
Sealed with the signet ring of the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach (Esther 8:8)