2 Corinthians 4:3 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Truth is not available to everyone. To some, it’s veiled. It is veiled to those who are, in God’s plan, to enter eternal life at this time, but later. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Now, that’s not their fault that that happened that way. Their time is later. So, we don’t want to be judgmental about people that don’t understand God’s truth.
So, in considering this deception that we’re thinking about, most Christians think of it as a religious deception. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s look at something else Paul tells us about our adversary’s deception. It’s in Ephesians 6:10.
Ephesians 6:10 – Finally – he says – be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God – did you know that there’s an armor that Christians are supposed to wear? – that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Did you know that he has an agenda that he’s working on? He does. And then Paul continues in verse 12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness – that means, over this world – against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places – not up in God’s third heaven, but everywhere in between here and there. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day – now, the evil day is Bible talk for that time just before Christ returns – not a single day. What happens there is religious, but also social and political, deception, as we will see. Some people think we shouldn’t talk about politics at church. I don’t find much value in it, because what’s going on is way outside of politics, for the most part. But, continuing in verse 13: …and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth – so, that’s the first piece or armor – the truth. It makes sense, doesn’t it? When you’re resisting deception, you’re resisting a lie. And you resist that, of course, with the truth – on any topic.
Let’s read in 2 Corinthians 2 to gain more.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive – says Paul. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his designs. He’s implying here, without stating it, that dividing people is one of his schemes. So, we’re not to be divided. It’s not just that he lies, but that we’re supposed to become good at spotting his lies. And not only that, but understanding the strategy he uses to deceive the world and move forward his agenda, which is the eternal destruction of all human life. Jesus said that Himself in Matthew 24.
Understanding what he’s doing and how is a matter of wisdom and spiritual maturity. So, we’re not to be fooled easily. And because it has to do with maturity, that means there’s growth in this area. So, we don’t start out spiritually mature. We have to grow into it.
Notice something else that’s a bit unsettling to think about in Matthew 24:23.
Matthew 24:23-24 – Then – He’s talking about that evil day – the end time – if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. So, here Jesus is talking about the nature of the deception the devil will use at the end time. He is telling us that that deception will be so strong that the devil hopes to deceive even God’s people.
Does that mean the Jesus believes every Christian, from His day to His return, is at risk? Well, let’s read Luke 18:7.
Luke 18:7 – And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
So, by the time Christ returns, things will have gotten so bad that faith in God will be a scarce thing. Now, that’s not just going to happen on its own. It’s going to happen by design – and not God’s design, but our adversary’s. Jesus is here telling us that we need to be wise to what’s going on around us – not just religiously, but socially and politically.
So, let me stop here and tell you this. This is not about US politics as the cause of the deception, but the 454 elected US officials, who control more and more of our lives, are just as subject to this deception as is anyone else, but they’re not the source of it. We have to look past national politics or even global politics, to see what’s at the root of these strategies. So, let’s do that.
Today we’re going to take a tour of great deceptions in times past, and in the present, and in the future to see what we learn about what’s going on with the devil today as he operates in our world.
Let’s start with the very first deception. Let’s go to Genesis 3:4 and 5.
Genesis 3:4-5 – And the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.” Of course, God had just told them that they were going to die if they ate of that tree. For God does know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
So, that’s lie number one that the devil uses to deceive people. We’re going to talk a lot more about that – elevating people in their own mind so they can decide for themselves what is right and wrong – not just for themselves, but for themselves and others as well. That idea, right there, is the foundation of the devil’s whole lying scheme, comprised of two aspects. One, setting us up, in our own minds, to function as God, deciding for ourselves what’s right and what’s wrong. And two, disconnecting us from God through disobedience. How does that figure in? Well, if you decide for yourselves what’s right and wrong, it’s not going to match up with God’s definition. He defines obedience and disobedience, because He is the Creator of the law. So, that’s going to disconnect us from God, just like it disconnected Adam and Eve. They were off hiding from Him once they disobeyed, because of their guilt.
That same principle is also the devil’s too. His rebellion and disobedience disconnected him from God. Or, the devil would probably say, it freed him from God. That’s an important realization there.
It’s so interesting that Jesus told us in John 8 that when we are deceived by the devil, we become his children. Everything he does is acceptable to us – and for us to do. And that lie is what he has pushed ever since. Following God is restrictive, it’s enslaving, it’s limiting, while being God ourselves is freedom – freedom to choose whatever we want.
So, how did this deception influence Adam’s children? Well, we know the whole world was so evil by the time of Noah – there was so much cruelty, so much suffering – that God despaired of ever creating them. Our adversary uses the horrific state of the world as proof that God is a liar when He says that He loves us, while the horrific things we see around us have been caused by the devil, not God. Hypocrisy to the extreme!
When you’re in the midst of a terrible trial, can you keep in your mind that God loves you, or do you blame God? Well, if you believe that God caused your problem, you are deceived. Let’s look at the effects of the lie Satan told to Adam and Eve that survived the flood. Let’s go to Genesis 10, verse 8.
Genesis 10:8-10 – Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth – so he’s noteworthy – to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Why would that be important? Well, they had a lot of big predators back then, and when all you’ve got is a stick with a stone on the end of it that’s sharp, or a bow and arrow, a grizzly bear is a big thing – or, even an elephant. Therefore it is said – they kind of immortalized him – “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The beginning of his kingdom – so he was a king – was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Babel and Shinar should bring something to mind for those who read the Bible.
So, Nimrod was good at protecting people from animals, so he became the first world ruler – it wasn’t world ruler, but the first despot – the first controller. And he, like all despots from his day to the Roman Empire, designating himself as god. In fact, the major holiday observed in the West today carries all the trappings of Nimrod worship. That’s hard to believe, but check it out for yourself.
So, lie number one was that we are like gods. And lie number two – that we want to look at – is that God’s way is slavery. Your own way is freedom and God’s way is restriction. And if you throw off God’s laws – don’t eat the fruit – then you will be free to make your own choices, which will lead to the good life. You’re not going to die and you’re going to be like God.
Then, the third lie is whoever is strongest gets to decide right and wrong. We’re going to see an example of that in Babel right now.
Do we know what happened in Shinar? Well, thanks to Noah, we do. It says:
Genesis 11:1 – Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east – like they were told to do – to repopulate the earth – told by God – they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens” – probably so they could see invaders and large animals approaching from far off. In the King James, it’s somewhat obscure. It sounds like they thought they were going to build a temple up to God. Well, God is not where they wanted to go. Then it says: “Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” So, who do you think was saying that – leading the way? Well, King Nimrod was.
So, the one in charge gets to decide what to do and, in this case, what to believe. Because God told them to disperse and they were told they didn’t need to. “God’s ideas are bad for us. We don’t need to listen to Him. We have Nimrod. He’s our god now.” So that’s our fourth lie – that is, that we can trade freedom for safety. That observation – those four observations of the lies – are like the devil’s tracks of history. He hates every form of freedom, except for freedom from God.
Now, you might ask, “If the devil is active, why don’t we see leaders claiming to be god today? Well, it wouldn’t work today. In order to cause the world to become anti-God, the devil had to give up the practice of his rulers as gods. The devil has to fool people into following him, without a human god. So, the devil changes his attack to meet the current situation.
Here’s another example of how that works, just so you can kind of get the drift of it. Do you know what the earliest recorded arguments against the Sabbath were that the church fathers used in the early church? Not the true church fathers, but those that followed. Well, they took a scripture in Malachi 4:2:
Malachi 4:2 – …the sun of righteousness – S-U-N – shall rise with healing in its wings – so that Jesus is the sun of righteousness.
Do you know what that means by the way? That means that every morning when you wake up and see the sun rising, you can know for sure that Jesus Christ is going to arise and come to this earth with healing in His wings. It’s a reminder. But to them, back in the day of Mithraism – that is, the worship of the sun god – that term could be twisted into Jesus was the sun god and Sunday is his day. And that worked back then, but it wouldn’t fly today, so the devil uses a different lie to confuse people about the Sabbath. He doesn’t worry about being consistent, because he’s not! He uses whatever works for him, whether it’s true or not.
So, have you heard the argument? Did you know that Jesus is your Sabbath today? Yes, He came to free you from the restrictive day that God set and from God by giving you the Holy Spirit. I know that sounds weird, but that’s how they think. Now you have the Holy Spirit, so every day is the Sabbath in our hearts. No need to keep the Sabbath or try to keep it on Sunday, There’s no such thing as holy time. Of course, the Bible doesn’t even say that, but that what they think weakens the argument. So, every day is the Sabbath now. So, go play golf, go to work – just do it with the Holy Spirit in you, and you’ll be good. Decide for yourself what to do on any day. And that will make you happy and free of God.
So, you see the elements of deception, too? You get to decide what’s right or wrong at work there. Any unbiased Bible student can debunk that argument totally right out of the Bible. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. But the devil embellishes his plan using different lies at different times. He uses different lies, depending on what he needs to push and what people will fall for in various times. That’s how he operates – whatever works. It doesn’t matter whether it’s right or not, because he doesn’t believe in right. He believes that what he thinks is right. So, his plan has, at it’s roots, one foundational lie by which we can see his tracks all through history. Did I say one? I mean four.
God says He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. When God’s ministers talk about the Sabbath, it’s the same proofs that were used from the very beginning – from the creation. Those proofs come out of the Bible. And, because God doesn’t change, they don’t either. But the devil is a shape-shifter, a chameleon – who looks like a snake sometimes, and an angel at others.
So, let’s take a look at the devil’s end time deception now. We saw how it all got started. Let’s see where it’s all going to end up. I’m not going to quote the whole book of Revelation for you today, but just a few scriptures to give you the idea, so that once you read the rest of the prophecies about the end time in Revelation, you’ll be able to pick out the lies yourself. So, let’s take a look at it.
Before we begin, I do, however, want to lay out this caveat. The book of Revelation is a mixture of unobscured factual statements about real events that will happen, such as the return of Jesus Christ to this earth to reign over it, and it also contains events, and people, and places and things that are used as symbols for something else. Some of these symbols are interpreted by the Bible, such as the word mountain. In Revelation and other prophetic portions, this word can mean government. I’m getting that, not out of my own mind, but out of the Bible. The Bible says that. The Bible interprets itself there. And there are other symbols that are not clearly defined in the Bible however. And I believe that anyone who defines these symbols out of their own understanding is doing just that – using their own understanding rather than God’s – and only God knows. Otherwise, He would have defined it for us, and then, we could all know. But when He doesn’t, then He’s the only that knows what He meant by what He said. It’s like when somebody accuses you of being angry – or, maybe, let’s say jealous, because that doesn’t show as much. Well, how would they know you are? The only way they would know is if you told them. I mean, it’s in your mind, not theirs. They might be projecting their own jealousy on you, but that’s for another time.
So, how are we to understand these symbols that the Bible doesn’t define? Well, I’m not sure of this on an every-case basis, but it seems to me, after watching all my adult life, people attempting to apply prophecy to the present day, that the symbols that are not defined in the Bible will only be understood as they are occurring real time – and then, only those who know that they’re symbols of events yet to come and who have been looking for them. In other words, these unidentified symbols are not in the Bible so that we can know when the end time events are going to occur, but they’re there so that when do start occurring, those who know the book of Revelation will understand what they’re looking at in real time – that they’re prophesied end time events.
So, I’ll give you an example. Revelation 13:1 – John said:
Revelation 13:1-4 – And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. So, one of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
So, this is, I think, a government entity would be clear to understand. By that time, they’re not walking around following something that looks kind of like a bear and a leopard and all that. No. So, “who is like the beast and who can fight against it?” So, a great government. There are other scriptures that are even more plain and show more about what it actually is. But these are symbols that we can define out of the Bible.
The beast can be a government or its leader. And the dragon, of course, is always the devil. So, what can we learn from this? Well, at the end time, there will be a government with a great military power – it doesn’t mention it here, but not just military power – that arises on the scene that people will follow, because, in reality, this government will be a front for the devil. They won’t realize who they are worshipping. If we think about it, with no need to go further, we can see all four of the lies we’ve identified earlier as actively supporting this government. It purports to be God’s government. It decides and tells people what’s right and wrong. It controls them – “Who can fight against it?” It purports to protect them while it enslaves them. There’s more about that later, when it talks about this beast and the mark of the beast. So, at this point, this government is going to enact a mark on people – and we don’t know what that exactly is, but it tells us that it means they will not be able to buy or sell anything without the mark. So, it’s taken total control of the world economy and all the people in it. If you don’t buy or sell, you don’t live.
Now, what about the horns and the heads that look like various animals, and the mortal wound that was healed? Well, some have said that this might be the holy Roman Empire restored. And some even go so far as to say the European Union. Well, to that I say, “Prove it out of the Bible.” Well, you can’t do it yet, can you? But when that time comes, and that thing shows up, it’ll be clear. And, if you think that that’s what it might be, keep your eye on Europe and what’s in Revelation, but don’t forget to also look for a powerful caliphate in the Middle East. I mean, they’ve got to be players in all this. Or, who knows where else it might be? I mean, China has a great totalitarian government. And who know what might arise before then?
The Bible says, also, that there are events to occur in and around Jerusalem at the time of the end. So, where would that be? Well, Jerusalem always means Jerusalem – or, it can stand for the church. We know where Jerusalem is, so we can keep an eye on that. Jesus said, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies” – now that’s not symbolism. It’s just plain talk. However, Jerusalem has been surrounded by armies many times since Jesus said that. So, that event – to be at the end time – has to be combined with all the other stuff He explained, plus more – that are in other places in the Bible, such as the removal of the evening and the morning sacrifices mentioned in Daniel. There are no sacrifices in Jerusalem now and there haven’t been since 69 AD. So, I think you get the picture of how I think about prophecy. However, even though we don’t know the current name of this prophesied government, we can still look at the Bible and what it says about this government, and because we know it’s driven by the devil, we can learn something about how the devil operates at the end time. And we can combine that with what we know factually from Bible history at Babel, and we can get a pretty accurate view of how the devil has operated, and will operate, in the past and the future and the present. So, keep watching and waiting, but not predicting imminent threat.
What else does the Bible say about this end time government? Well, let’s continue reading in Revelation 13:11.
Revelation 13:11-15 – Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb – well, Jesus was a lamb, right? – and it spoke like a dragon – so, spoke like the devil. It was like Christ, but spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. So, the second entity makes all the inhabitants worship the devil – the first beast. And what is that? When a government forces its citizens to do something? Well, it could be a dictatorship, or it could be a totalitarian government, even. And what kind of government was the first large government after the flood? Well, at least a dictatorship. It was all about control, wasn’t it? Then in verse 13, it says: It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people – so, it might be possibly saying that, since it looked like a lamb, it was Christ doing miracles – and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. So, it’s going to persecute people who oppose it. No freedom there. Not only do the people have to do what they’re told, but they have to think the way they’re told to think.
Now, worship is a matter of thought and intent and belief, as well as actions. So, it’s going to limit our ability to worship God and try to cause us to worship the devil. Then, in verse 16, it says:
V-16 – Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Well, how can you calculate the number of someone’s name when you don’t know what their name is? So that’s something that’s only there to help us once it’s on the scene to understand what it is. It’s a mystery right now. What is for the present, however, is the knowledge that this government is not simply a dictatorship, but it is a totalitarian government that controls everything in the lives of its subjects – working, playing, worshipping, even. If we can’t buy or sell, we can’t live. We’re told in other places in Revelation that this gigantic power block controls everyone on earth for a time.
In his book, Live Not by Lies, Rod Dreher has a sub-chapter on the Chinese social credit system, where, if you don’t toe the line – you get caught saying the wrong things, or meeting with people inappropriately – according to their determination – your credit can be ruined, you can be locked out of your apartment. So, it’s a total control system, masked in the name social credit. And, if you play along with the party, then you can gain points. If you don’t, you lose them. And that could be very, very detrimental, so people just toe the line. It’s more convenient to do that. It’s interesting. In his chapter, the sub-chapter heading is The Mark of the East. And the point isn’t that China is going to be the beast power, of course. It’s that we have the technology now to monitor everything everybody does. And they can do that with the iPhone you’ve got in your pocket – or, the android phone. They can watch everything – listen in on everything, know where you go, know what you do, know what you bought – all of that.
So, this government is going to be a globalist government, if I can use that term without offending people. People willingly surrender to it because of advantages offered. It offers freedom, but in the end, it controls everyone, just like is happening in China now and just like what happened in the Soviet Union. If offers safety, but it ends up killing dissenters. In the Soviet Union, if you didn’t go along with the party, you couldn’t put your kids in school, you couldn’t go to college, you could be sent to prison, you could be shot in the head – some 30,000 people were just a few miles south of Moscow. And it’s all built on a large pack of these lies. And none of the advantages last, because they’re just all bait to pull people into the control of the devil.
So, let’s look at some contemporary historical examples. We’ve looked at the past and the future. So, what have we learned? Well, if you will recall the title of this sermon is Resisting Deception. You can’t resist past and you can’t resist future. So, this is about what’s going on today that we need to resist. Why would we need to do that? Because the devil will not use his four lies in the past and future only. He uses them today. And, if you know what they are, you can spot them. If he is allowed to have his way, he will use them to restrict us from the freedom to worship God. And by his deception, cause our resolve to be weakened – to go for safety rather than freedom, just like he does all the time with every dictatorship he’s ever had. That has happened from the creation. So, de we think we will, somehow, avoid that? No, our time is now.
So, how can we track the devil in our time? Well, the big lie number one – the original one – the lie the devil told Adam and Eve that disconnected them from God. “You can decide for yourself what’s right and wrong.” All other lies come out of that one.
Today, in our country, we have lost the culture war. There are more people who don’t believe in God than do, so, in their minds, there is no overarching moral comparative. Just like the devil, they believe whatever works is what you do – no restraint. Do we see that idea anywhere today? Well, it’s everywhere – even in Christian churches – or some of them. But, by comparison, the idea that God is God used to prevail. “In God We Trust” was written on our money and in our constitution. But this nation has lost the culture war, and trust in God has been replaced with trust in yourself or other people. The Bible says all things are possible with God. We believe that. That means all moral objectives, all good works, all faith, all righteousness are from God. But now people believe, as Dostoyevsky said, “Without God, all things are possible.” They’ve changed the meaning of the word freedom. Now it means the freedom to do whatever we want – to destroy all history – because they can’t tolerate the truth of the past – all self-seeking, all believe in our own accomplishments. Even the myth of progress in the world has replaced the truth of spiritual growth. Science has been replaced with a political agenda. They say, “Follow the science.” They were saying that about Covid. Well, the science was saying masks didn’t do any good and other things. So, people reject science if it contradicts the agenda they’re following. Do you want a factual example of that on video? On video, a woman stood up in a Senate sub-committee, I believe, and testified, in all sincerity, that men could menstruate. Biology be disregarded in favor of the agenda. That’s the new truth! Seeking God’s way, following Jesus’ example has been replaced with experiment and find what works for you – just as it was replaced for Adam and Eve by the devil.
Now, lie number three – the one with the power determines what’s true – I’m not talking about the power of the US government here, but instead, an informal amalgamation of big business, big pharma, big food, big energy, big communications and big data, all driven by the idea that they get to determine what’s true, because they have the power. Power gives them the right to bully those who disagree with them – to marginalize them – taking their jobs, denying them the ability to speak and the ability to be heard. They do this with a clear conscience because they no longer believe in “love your neighbor as yourself,” but instead believe the lie that might makes right – at least when they’re the one wielding the might.
The last lie – number four – the ones in power will take care of you…. Henry Ford said, “If you believe the US government has your best interest at heart, consider the American Indian. And, in the Russian revolution of 1919, the Communist revolt fed off the rallying cry, “Workers of the world unite!” But what started as what appeared to be a saving effort for the workers, turned out to be the abuse and impoverishment of the workers by those who were supposed to be the saviors. And a lot of well-meaning, idealistic, well-educated young adults supported this effort. And yet, it wound up with the regime that tried to control the minds of every person under its control. When they couldn’t control them then, a social genocide took place – not racial, but social. If you would not submit to the Party, you starved, went to prison or were shot in the head. And the Chinese government is called the People’s Republic of China. It’s not a republic. It’s totalitarian government. It’s not for the people, but enslaving them down to every last thought, as always with the devil’s efforts. Because the same destroying spirit drives every dictatorship and, increasingly, every democracy. The saviors became – and are becoming – the destroyers.
By the way, if you want to read more about what’s happening worldwide and what to do about it, read Live Not by Lies, A Manual for Christian Resistance, by Rod Dreher. I’m going to put the Amazon link for it in the For Further Discussion section on the page for this presentation at LifeResource.org Website.
So, there’s only one Savior – only one name by which we may be saved – Jesus Christ and Him crucified – crucified, by the way, by an outbreak of the devil’s government – the Roman Empire. Revelation shows us that the devil’s activities at the end will be business as usual for him – disconnect people from God, get control of them, and then kill them off.
When I heard that woman say, in all seriousness, that men could menstruate, it reminded me of God’s statement in Thessalonians at the end, that He would send a strong delusion upon unbelievers. Well, I don’t think we’ve seen that delusion yet. The context of His statement was about the end time. Nevertheless, that poor woman was deluded from reality. She could not tell the associated lie from reality.
So, what do you do with that? There’s no way you can argue with it and the people that believe it. It’s not so upsetting if we just realize one big truth: God is with us, and if we simply continue in the faith, like we’ve done, believing and trusting God as we live our lives out before Him, that’s all we have to do to defeat the lies. God’s going to take care of it. The truth is stronger than any totalitarian regime, stronger than any dictator, stronger than the devil. And, if we live out that truth before God in our lives every day, God’s truth will prevail in us. If what we see happening gets bad enough, we may have to start meeting in smaller groups, like the Sabbatarian Christians do in China, or even in this country during Covid. We may have to suffer as did the faithful in times past during the devil’s more violent outbreaks, but it will be worth it, because the truth lived out in us will set us free – free to be eternally with God.