Why, Lord?

I came across this image somehow and could not help but see how a load of resources can be so useless without action, in the face of desperate need. It quickly reminded me of James 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

 In every aspect of our life, God will always play His part. It is left to us to rise to the challenge of playing our part as well. There will always be one thousand and one reasons why we cannot do our part. Sitting down to pity ourselves and our predicaments will never solve our problems, but rising to the task will. Taking action could be as simple as getting up to seek help.

The same thing applies to being knowledgeable about God and yet, our life preaches the contrary. Religion without righteousness and obedience to God’s instructions is equally dead.

Who then is sufficient unto all these? The mercy of God embedded in His grace is made available for us all. We just need to nail our self-righteousness to the cross and humbly seek the righteousness of Christ.

Another challenge will be on how to differentiate between our righteousness and that of Christ. When we are consumed in the righteousness of Christ, our life reflects the fruits of the Spirit as listed in the Bible.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

-Galatians 5: 22-25 (KJV).

 

Pastor/Dr. WF Kumuyi @ 80

Pastor/DR. WF Kumuyi

If you’re ever looking for a unique and exceptional man of God who remains focused, incorruptible, Bible-centric, principled, disciplined and committed, here is one: PASTOR/DR W. F. KUMUYI.

He was a first class scholar in mathematics. At this unique phase of his life, God called him into the ministry and he never second-guessed the call before yielding. His commitment to Christ could not bow to the protocols of religion. He understood his passion and would not trade it for anything, not even when he was disowned by his people. He was not afraid of standing alone for what he believes. He sacrificed his life, profession, intelligence, properties etc. to the mission of saving souls and the propagation of the Kingdom of Christ.

As a strong fan of John Wesley, he took the mantle from his Mentor and never flinched nor turned back. He stood out among many others as a man that prioritizes fulfilling a purpose over seeking popularity and attention. Reinhard Bonkie saw him as a man of integrity and couldn’t but divert many of his coverts to his ministry in which I am one. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association traveled thousands of kilometer from the USA to Nigeria to present a gift to this undaunted man of God.

Pastor W. F. Kumuyi has always been a man of fire and power in addition to being an holiness preacher. Among many other experiences I have had under his leadership was that day at International Bible Training Center (IBTC) during one of the Leadership Strategic Congresses. As I was walking through Hall 4 to seat in the front area of Hall 1, I ran to him eyeball to eyeball as he seated on his chair on the pulpit. I never expected to see him there at that particular time having understudied him for years. My eyes got stuck into his eyes and it was like I got electrocuted rightaway as I couldn’t take off my eyes from his. I don’t know how long I was hooked up in that experience before I was eventually released but I knew something happened. That occurrence couldn’t have been an accident. I went in the strength of that encounter for several months. All I needed to do those periods whenever I needed to pray was to close my eyes and remember that eyeball to eyeball encounter, the rest was always something else. Prayers were made easy. It was deep.

I know this birthday thing is not his thing, but I humbly step aside to join thousands of others in saying HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY TO OUR BELOVED FATHER IN THE LORD, A WORTHY MENTOR, PASTOR DR W. F. KUMUYI. Your impact in the life of many people is immeasurable. You started well, and put so much into the ministry. We hardly see your tears nor witness your brokenness but we are confident that He who started the good work in you will bring everything to perfection through you, in you and by you in the Name of Jesus. You will end well Sir, regardless of any plot, plan, scheme, or wile of the enemy. The fire built in you will continue to spread through the life you have directly or indirectly influenced, in Jesus Name.

Once again, Happy Birthday, Sir!

The Beauty from the Ashes

Rahab was her name. She was a public figure in a way whose name stank among many people. She was no one to be proud of or reckoned with. When listing the names of noteworthy, influential, or religious people, she was nothing close. Rahab was nothing but dirt and a dumpster in her world . As her name implies, “broad” so was her chosen field of profession, Harlotry that is still an abomination to God to date. In a nutshell, Rahab was ‘one stop short of rejection.’

Judging with the human analysis, if anybody in Rahab society was to enjoy the protection of God, it could never have been her. But then Rahab found mercy with God. Her world collapsed before her face, but she stood tall in salvation. Mercy and favor found her when she opened her heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Grace erased her humiliating past as she got dug out of the dunghill into the high places.

Hebrews 11:31
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

No doubt, Rahab had heard about the God of heaven and secretly desired Him in her heart and life. Without wasting time, at the slight opportunity, she turned to the only true God for her salvation and deliverance. As God never turns any sinner away, she got adopted into the household faith. When that day of destruction came upon the land of Jericho, Rahab’s life and that of her family were spared. God remembered her faith and not her profession, nor her past.

The life of Rahab turned a significant new leaf at salvation, and she became one of the two women listed among the heroes of faith in the Bible. She also became a responsible married woman who became one of the building blocks in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:5
And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

That is the significant lesson for everyone; God is the God of mercy. He does not throw back our sins at our face but gives us the privilege to repent and turn away from them. A lawyer named Paul referenced this in his letter to Roman as he quoted from the book of Psalm 32:2 “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Rahab, once known to be a prostitute, became a blessed woman.

Joshua 6:25
And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

There is no situation, sins, or stinking past that God cannot pardon and change for good. There is no stained life that cannot be resuscitated in Christ. Whatever it is, bring it to Christ in repentance and hurry up about it because time cannot be tied down. Make today the day of a turning point, the day of salvation as tomorrow may be too late. The door of mercy and transformation of life is still open. Take advantage of it before it closes up.

Surrounded by dark situations, you can still flourish

The Associated Danger of a New Normal Education

Dear parents, be diligent with your children as they study online.

A parent cried out when she discovered that the kids’ links meant to be for their learning activities actually lead to all kinds of inappropriate sites. One thing can always lead to another and gradually lead an innocent mind into corruption. One of the children that strayed into those sites tearfully told his parent that his mind would not stop thinking about what he saw in those sites and that he would always long to go back there.

The Children’s minds are very sensitive and inquisitive. They would always want to learn more. The mind-captivating, sexually motivating sites, carefully connected to the various internet sites are like traps that draw the souls of men, especially the innocent minds, into bondages.

The subtle drawing away of these young minds of today is obviously, a hellish plot against our children and youth. The enemy schemes are to bait them into captivity, addiction, and eventual destruction but God will not allow it in Jesus’ Name. We as parents must need to sit up and sit tight, standing in the gap for our children in every area.

Even if you restrict the use of the internet for your children, you should occasionally check the setting to ensure nothing has changed. Never brush aside the questions of your children nor shut them down in their expressions. We must learn to read in between lines.

May God keep our children in His way and deliver them from every form of destruction in Jesus’ Name.

And then, CHRIST AROSE

Just before He gave up the ghost, Christ declared: IT IS FINISHED! Father had painfully looked away from Christ’s pains as Christ singlehandedly carried the heavy load of sins for men to the cross, till death. Heaven thundered in reaction to His demise, and the earth shook to its foundation at the death of the only begotten Son of God.

The veil of the temple was torn into two and access was granted unto everyone into the Holy of Holies. The enemy rejoiced at His death, thinking he won. Little did he know “that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Job 20:5.

And then, CHRIST AROSE!

The glory of the Lord filled the earth, and men were redeemed from the hand of their taskmaster. Joy was brought into the congregation of the righteous while confusion was thrown into the camps of the enemies. The moment of a temporary feeling of victory by Satan eroded forever as the new era of salvation, deliverance, grace and faith was established. That short-lived rejoicing of the hypocrites was flushed down the drain at the resurrection of Christ.

When Christ arose, He “spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”, Colossians 2:15. He set the captive free and gave the power to the weak. Snares were broken, and the souls of men were liberated. Christ ascended on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, Ephesians 4:8. As the ancient of days, He once revealed Himself “clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15His feet were like fine brass as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Revelation 1:13-16.

At the resurrection, Christ’s work was done, salvation was given, deliverance awarded, hope renewed, and victory established. The way to true freedom and life was set and freely open to all. He said in His revelation:

“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore”, Revelation 1:18a.

Yes! Alive Forevermore! If Christ arose, so will we always.

All we’ve got to say is:

THANK YOU JESUS!

Why is “Good Friday” good?

That day of Christ’s crucifixion was a day of sacrifice, shame, humiliation, rejection, pain, loneliness amidst the multitude. It was a day of death.

Jesus knew it beforehand and still surrendered himself to it.

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Matthew 20:18-19

History was made till date, that Christ went through all these for the redemption of the souls of men. That is why Jesus Christ doesn’t cast anyone that comes to Him away, but give them power to become a transformed person.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted’. Isaiah 53:4.

The door of mercy and salvation is still open to all.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left”. Luke 23:33

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30

Thus the reason for the “Good Friday”; Jesus sacrificial death to buy us salvation from the eternal judgement.

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN REJOICE AT THE FALL OF ANYONE?

Joy (rejoicing) is sweet and good. It does good to the heart. The Proverbs says:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones,

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV).

However, there are two kinds of rejoicing: Godly rejoicing and Ungodly rejoicing. Everyone has a right to rejoice over answers to prayer, victories won, thwarted plan of enemies, destroyed yokes, broken snares, and our delivered souls. Why won’t believers rejoice when “our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped”, Psalms 124:7(KJV). This type of rejoicing is about the goodness around us and around one another. We breathe in liberation with a deep sense of love and appreciation for God’s goodness.

But when our hearts secretly wait and leap for joy at the trip or failure of those who do not agree with or share our vision and passion, then that heart needs emergency surgery. It couldn’t have been a replicate of Christ’s heart in Christians. Thank God, the heavenly clinic is always open. It is a 24/7 walk-in: no appointment required.

How about the really bad people and those that have probably sold out their souls to the enemy to consistently perpetrate evil? Or worse still, those who have probably reached the stage of apostasy? It is the responsibility of God to handle that, and He will. Surely, the wicked will reap the fruits of their evil doings, especially if they refuse to repent. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:21: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered”. We must however understand that vengeance belongs to God, not us. Otherwise, we would have all died before the day of our mercy and redemption.

Every drop of tear that falls from the eye of a child of God as a result of the affliction inflicted by the enemies is highly explosive. It presents a dangerous case against those enemies. That is why Christians must prioritize weapons of prayers over some human ways of fighting back.

Christians must not forget that Christianity was founded upon love; John 3:16. And that “… God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 5:8 (KJV), thus the reason for the Easter period. When Christ yielded His spirit on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn apart, the barrier was taken down. The Earth shook at the face of the earthquake and mercy spread across the Nations of the world. Both Jews and Gentiles can now draw from the Well of mercy, grace, and love.

The days of swords and arrows were gone when Christ gave His life for all and the Kingdom of mercy and love was established. Otherwise, none of us is justified.

This is the counsel of Jesus Christ to His followers, Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

In our love for human beings, we should never forget the counsel of the Master: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”, Matthew 10:16.

Is Covid-19 Vaccine the Mark of the Beast?

Part 1 of this article dealt with scientific discussions about Covid-19 and highlighted the fact that Covid-19 is real, contagious, and could be self-limiting. Principles behind the Covid-19 vaccines’ productions were also discussed.

Right from the onset of Covid-19 infections, many complications and conflicting information had risen. It was very challenging to know who to trust and what to believe. Many see the Covid-19 vaccine as the Mark of the beast, 666, documented in the Bible. Some people also believe that the vaccine is the object of mass destruction. Some say the vaccines are meant to manipulate the reasoning faculty so that Christians will not be able to keep their faith in Christ but rather become dumpsters that take in everything from the government. Quick questions would be, how do we get our information, and how do we validate them?

Since what makes a Christian a Christian are biblical instructions, we might as well do some ‘fact checks’ using the Bible. 

The Bible in both the Old Testament and New Testament documents events of the last days and their characteristics. Daniel in the Old Testament and John the Apostle in the New Testament were the chosen vessels to receive the extraordinary revelations. While Daniel was known to be a man of consistent prayer and unflinching belief in God, who lived around 536 B.C (before Christ), John the Apostle was one of Christ’s disciples who was left to die in the Island of Patmos around A.D 95 (in the year of the Lord) because of his solid faith in Christ and because he did not die inside the boiling oil meant to get rid of him. Isolated from the noise and distractions of the world, these men could focus on God. No wonder they received unique and significant revelations.

Revelations 13: 16-18 as seen by John the Apostle:

“And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man, and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (666).

Featuring in this revelation was a dragon and beasts. The beast being referred to here is an Antichrist under the influence of the dragon (Satan). He will perform miracles upon miracles that will deceive people and lure people into worshiping the image of the beast, or otherwise, they are dead: Revelation 13:15, “And he (the second beast) had the power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed”.

If this is the case, in line with the Scripture, how is the Covid-19 vaccine related to the Mark of the beast? 

We should try and consider some questions that might guide us into the truth:

1. In our present world of the Covid19 pandemic, where is the beast, the first wounded beast which the Bible was referring to?

2. Where is the dragon that gave power to the beast?

3. Where are the people worshiping the dragon and how many are dying in defiance?

4. Where is the second beast that “doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had the power to do in the sight of the beast;” (Reveleation13: 13, 14a)?

5. Where is the image of the beast speaking blasphemies against God?

· Before the administration of the Mark of the beast there must be a declaration of the Mark and the owner of the Mark the beast. 

· According to the recorded revelation on the Mark of the beast, the mark 666 would be administered on the forehead or the right hand, but the covid-19 vaccine is being administered intramuscularly the way the previous vaccines have always been administered. 

· The Mark of the beast is mandatory, if you don’t have it you can’t buy or sell. Generally, this is not happening with the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine. There may be some restrictions in some organizations as in some departments of health institutions where some staff would have to work directly with vulnerable patients. Even then, those uncomfortable with the vaccination still have choices. 

The beast had once been associated with Rome as the Roman empire immensely persecuted the believers and killed many of them. There have been different speculations about the beast in the past and this Covid-19 vaccination seems to be another speculation. 

The Life Application Bible Commentary on Revelation 13 stated: “Because the beast, the antichrist, is a false Messiah, he will be a counterfeit of Christ… People will follow and worship him because they are awed by his power and miracle (Rev 13:7,8)…” I don’t think this is happening yet.

How about the vaccine genetically changing our God-given body and recreating our body cells?

The true believers in Christ must not forget that Christianity is a walk of faith and its acts are spiritually discerned, not physically nor scientifically. Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus that “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places: Ephesians 6:12. So, Christian battles are not against the flesh, blood, science, or medicine but against principalities and power. Christians live by faith and not by sight, not by mechanically routing the way of our escape. A way of escape has already been established, and that Way is Jesus Christ. It is a misconception to believe that the vaccine will change the sense of our reasoning as believers. More so, Christians are not being vaccinated in isolation, everyone gets what is being supplied to their community. 

If the Blood of Christ has not lost its value and God is still powerful to rule and reign in the affairs of men, then no chemical can take over humanity and begin to operate it like a robot.

If anyone is still worried about the genetic modification of our body, I would think it is too late to be worried. If we have ever taken pills, radiation, MRI, Xray, contraceptive, blood transfusion, some medical treatments, heart, liver, kidney transplant, some cells of our body systems have already been modified. But the good news is that even though some of our body systems could have been modified in a way, the soul of men can never be genetically modified. 

If the moon still shows up in the night, rain in its time, sun in its place, if the earth is still standing and day and night are still as scheduled, then it is evident that God the Creator of heaven and earth is still in charge of His creations. 

Should Christians be depressed and worried about the prevailing circumstances?

The believers have no reason to be afraid for “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits Daniel 11:32b. Job said in Job 19:25 “For I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”. Jesus Christ said in John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. If we still believe in the Bible, we must then believe in the words of Christ, knowing certainly He will come back for His own. If we stand where God stands, we should not be bothered about the mark of the beast in the first instance.

Is it likely that the Covid-19 is the object of mass destruction? 

If our government wants to make all of us sick or kill us all, who will they rule over? Although every civilian might not agree with their policy, I would like to believe that the priority, responsibility of any government is to keep their people safe. Their way of achieving this will not always make sense to everyone, that is why there will always be an opposition. While Christians continue to stand firm on the words of God and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”, we must never forget the principles of the Bible nor leave behind the Captain of our souls.

The Reality of End Time Events

In these last days, The Bible warns about false prophets, false teaching, and doctrinal errors. We can see a lot of these flapping around already in this era of social media influx. There is no doubt that we are witnessing some of the signs of the end time. That should instead make us trim our lamp and be ready. Apostle Paul said in 1Thessalonians 4:16-18: “For the Lord, himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words”. 

Rather than panicking about the events of the last days, we should be investing in our personal spiritual life and sharing the love of Christ with others. Christians cannot afford to be distracted. We should also not forget that a thousand years may be like a day before God. So, the ‘end’ may not come on our watch. The Spirit warned: “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” 1Timothy 4:1,2. Christians should be more concerned about these possible marks of the last day, which is capable of predisposing any believer to the eventual Mark of the beast. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come”, the Bible advises to watch and pray. If there is any time Christians should stay alert and watch in prayers, it is now. Christ would come anytime and take those who are ready. Those who are distracted from the path of righteousness and soil their garment will be left behind to face the real world of the beast and dragon. At that time, the tribulation saints will have to pay for their salvation with their blood.

Instead of worrying about the possibility of a vaccine being the mark of the beast or a forerunner of the mark of the beast, believers should watch in prayer, wisdom, diligence, bringing in the sheaves.

Pastor WF Kumuyi said in one of his messages that God has an agenda and plans for the end-time events and no amount of prayers can change that agenda. No strategy, rioting, contesting, debating, calculating, fighting will change the prophetic pronouncements of the last day’s events. We just need to know what the Will of God is before picking our fight.

What will be, will be. No one is leaving the earth alive anyway (except for during the rapture). Something will change one day about each one of us. Our prayer should be that when that change comes, it will be a good one.

Heroes of Faith

One of the characteristics of Christianity is faith, faith in what God can do. There have been accounts of heroes of faith who did great wonderments through their faith. Today, God still works miracles and performs wonders. We must not forget, however, that the level of our faith differs from one another. While some believers have faith that can move mountains and raise the dead, some would rest on the faith of their pastor for even headache to go away. God gives wisdom to people, whether Christian or not, to use for the benefit of humanity and He works in different ways. No matter how passionate we are about God we are still limited in our knowledge about the absolute acts of God. Walking with God requires humility. If we walk with Him with human reasonings, we might be working against His plans.

As I said in the first article, there is no guarantee that the vaccine will work well with everybody. Some people will react differently. I will advise that anyone comfortable with taking the vaccine should do so but whoever has an underlying health condition, bad allergy, or previous reaction to a vaccine, should consult their doctor before getting the vaccine. Some are already reporting adverse reactions to the vaccine. This is not new. But we should compare the success rate to the failed ones.

But for believers, we have a covenant of peace and health with Christ. “Though {we} walk through the valley of the shadow of death, {we} will fear no evil: for thou (Oh Lord) art with {us};… Psalm 23:4a.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

“So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”

Hebrews 13:6

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a STONE, a TRIED STONE, a PRECIOUS CORNER STONE, a SURE FOUNDATION: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:16

The Burden of Covid-19 and Its Vaccine

As Covid-19 vaccines are rolling out, many are still unsure of whether they should take them or not. There are still some questions that need answers and concerns to address. Some people are worried about possible long-term effects, side effects of the vaccine, and the technology behind the vaccine development. I believe it is ok to be concerned and question things when they aren’t clear. Guided curiosity opens the door for knowledge.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.

John Naisbitt

After some thought, I felt compelled to share my views as a medical professional and a Christian. This article is not to convince anyone to take the covid-19 vaccine or not. Everyone will still have to decide for themselves. However, a knowledge shared is capable of enlightening the soul and liberating it from ignorance or misinformation.

Respiratory tract infection has been an area of my interest before the current pandemic. I studied viral agents responsible for respiratory tract infections (RTI) and carried out the molecular characterization of some RTI viruses as research. Nasopharyngeal (NP) and throat swab samples were collected from clinical patients (hospital patients), isolated the culprit bugs (bacteria and viruses) found in those samples, and studied the characteristics of the viral agents found to be abundant. Most parts of the work were done in Finland and were supervised by a renowned virology professor. The findings in the study were published in reputable journals and presented at international conferences. Before RTI research, I had the opportunity to study the efficacy of the Measles vaccine distributed in a particular location.  

While Covid-19 was ravaging the world, a different type of research was going on all over the world. The newly emerged viruses needed to be studied in-depth before they could be curbed. Various research was put in place to understudy the characteristics of the virus, its genome, the replication style, mode of transmission, etc. I was part of a group of medical scientists studying the behavior of the virus as well. We were able to publish two papers that addressed the genomic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in circulation, and the validity, sensitivity, specificity of various Covid-19 rapid diagnostic tests.

A Brief Summary of Coronaviridae

Coronaviridae is a family of enveloped RNA viruses, a single-stranded virus. Covid-19 was borne from this family. Either created, mutated, or escaped from its original habitation, the point is that the virus is real, very contagious, and potentially deadly. The infected people will develop mild, moderate, or severe symptoms depending on many factors; old age, underlying medical conditions, immune system, etc.

Covid-19 being an RNA virus, evolves, is highly unstable, and is prone to genetic altercations. There are already many Covid-19 variants circulating all over the world as the virus changes continuously. The genetic changes that occur with the virus could either be minor or major. It all depends on mutation within the same infecting virus or recombination when more than one virus is involved.

Importance of mRNA and Spike Protein

Viruses generally are hijackers, once they have gained entrance into the host cells, they hijack its machinery to reproduce themselves. These activities will never be successful without the involvement of messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA is responsible for the synthesis of viral particle protein that includes the viral spike protein. The spike protein plays a significant role in the COVID-19 infection, as it is responsible for the attachment and infusion of the virus into the host cell that has an affinity (receptor site) for the virus spike.

How large is the virus?

The covid-19 virus is larger than a pore found in any standard mask. A good facemask would prevent particles of size >0.007 micrometers (μm) from entering the nose. Research had shown that Covid-19 has an average size of 0.1μm, Influenza virus is between 0.08 and 0.12μm, Bacteria (Bacillus) is much bigger; 0.5 μm.

See the Daniel size illustration below:

Illustration by Daniel Overby

So, Covid-19 is about twenty times larger than the smallest particle that could get through a regular mask. No doubt that wearing a mask during this pandemic will help in the fight against the spread of the virus, especially when worn properly. We must also keep in mind that wearing a mask is not about fashion but protection.

How does Covid-19 infect?

Since the virus travels by air like an airplane, it could get suspended in the atmosphere for a long time. The smallest aerosol can carry the virus and hold it in the air by air-currents. So, people sniff it in or swallow it. When ingested successfully into the stomach, the virus dies a natural death. However, in the nose (Nasal cavity), the virus would have to battle its way through several naturally staged obstacles into the lung cells where it has an affinity.

There are internal battles that go on without our knowledge when exposed to microbial agents such as Covid-19. The first battle begins in the nasal mucosal, where exists ecological communities of good bugs; bacteria, viruses, fungi (Normal flora/microbiota). These good bugs prevent the colonization of pathogenic bugs by competing for the same space and nutrients and producing toxic materials against these pathogens. All the surfaces of the respiratory tract from the upper layer to the lower layer are colonized by the host’s normal floral, the good bugs.

The human host has several ways of protecting the respiratory tract from infections which could be nonspecific or specific ways. The nasal hairs, convoluted passages, the cilia, and mucus lining of the trachea (throat), reflexes such as coughing, sneezing, and swallowing are the nonspecific way of protection. Alveolar macrophages are considered the most important means of eliminating pathogenic organisms that gain entrance eventually into the lower respiratory tract (lungs).

The Acts of the Immune System

When viruses attack, antibodies are produced to defend their territories. The action starts with the initial responses of Immunoglobulin M (IgM). Other chains of chemical reactions within the body systems are also fired up. The IgM antibodies that indicate an active infection are short-lived. However, memory cells, Immunoglobulin G (IgG), stay much longer in the system, ready to fight any subsequent specific virus attack.

Asymptomatic Covid-19 Carrier

The immune system of an individual plays a significant role in the fight against viral infections, including Covid-19. It also speaks to the fact that some people can carry the virus and not become sick (Asymptomatic). It is noteworthy that the immune system is inversely proportional to age starting from an individual’s prime, thus the vulnerability of the elderly.

Generally, most viral infections are self-limiting. Before taking any medication to cure it, the virus had gone through its unpredictable cycle, genetic selection or recombination, and resolve itself from the body. That is the main reason behind the isolation period without any specific medication. Vaccination is known to be more effective than medication. There are no known lasting effective viral medications. That probably must have been one of the reasons the attention is more on the vaccine rather than the medicational treatment.

Covid-19 Vaccination

As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), Vaccination “is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them. It uses your body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and makes your immune system stronger.” (Vaccines and immunization: What is vaccination? WHO, 30 December 2020).

The History of Vaccine

Before the knowledge of vaccination, China and Indian were known to practice a system of Inoculation as far back as the 1500s/1600s to fight the smallpox outbreak. They grind the scrapped scars from smallpox survived individual and blew into the nostril of yet-to-be-infected person. Not everyone agreed to this idea initially, and the success rate was far from 100%. However, it saved many lives.

As smallpox raged across the continents of the world killed millions of people in those early periods, the African slaves used the method of Variolation to keep themselves alive. Cotton Mather, a Boston Minister (1663-1728) who interacted with those slaves discovered their survival strategy and promoted the use of variolation in Massachusetts. Not everyone was initially in support of the approach either. In 1718, the use of variolation was practiced in Turkey. According to Wikipedia, “Variolation was the method of inoculation first used to immunize individuals against smallpox with material taken from a patient or a recently variolated individual, in the hope that a mild, but protective, infection would result”.

The first English variolation was brought into England by Lady Mary Montagu. She was also, initially criticized for advocating for unusual variolation techniques in England. However, when the people noticed its effectiveness, they eventually accepted it. All these old techniques of fighting viral infection, outbreak, or pandemic were never risk-free. 2-3% of those variolated in England during that period died of smallpox in contrast to 20 – 30% of those who died from natural smallpox infection. (https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline#EVT_18).

Dr. Edward Jenner pioneered vaccination simply from the observation of milkmaids who seemed to be free of smallpox scars despite the outbreak everywhere. Those milkmaids were exposed to cowpox infection that indirectly protected them from the severe smallpox infection. Dr. Jenner put the study through though in an unethical clinical trial and was successful in his vaccination discovery. The principle of the vaccination was an upgrade version of the inoculation technique and the variolation technique (Cowpox, Covid-19 and Jenner’s vaccination legacy 10, September 2020).

Will Covid-19 vaccination have a 100% success rate?

Considering the immune system, the peculiarity of some individuals, genetic composition of some people, it is not likely. There would always be outliers. Some people might not be fully protected with the vaccine some people might react against the vaccine differently.

The Ethics Behind Vaccination

Ethically speaking, the vaccine would not be out for use if it has not gone through some scrutiny processes and ethical approval. There are ethical rules that guide the development and use of any vaccine. WHO explained it this way: “Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use, and regularly reassessed once it is introduced. Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause health risks”.

Before this era of COVID-19, weakened virus vaccine, protein-based vaccine, and viral vector vaccine had been in use in the battles against viral infections. As knowledge increases and scientific discovery improves, techniques are also modified; thus, the new pioneering approach for the COVID-19 vaccination. Once an individual is vaccinated, such is protected against any subsequent virus attack when exposed to the virus. The generated antibodies remain in circulation, ready to fight back any subsequent infection.

COVID-19 Vaccine Producing Pharmaceutical Companies

A good number of Pharmaceutical companies including, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson (J & J), AstraZeneca stepped into the production of the Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer used the same principle of genetically engineered mRNA that would produce spike protein that mimics Covid-19 spike protein and then trigger the production of antibodies against it.

AstraZeneca used a similar principle as Pfizer and Moderna, but instead of going through single-stranded mRNA to synthesize the spike protein, AstraZeneca used double-stranded DNA.

On the other hand, J & J company used another approach using the viral vectored vaccine technique. In this approach, spike proteins will also be produced, but this time through cloned Adenovirus carrying genetic code for SARS-2 spike proteins. Upon injection of this vaccine, harmless Adenovirus will use the SARS-2 genetic code inside of it to produce Covid-19 spike proteins. Production of these spike proteins will trigger the immune system to produce antibodies against it.

Within the data generated among the study population used for the clinical trials, Pfizer vaccine was found to be 95% effective, Moderna, 94.1%, AstraZeneca, 62% and Johnson & Johnson a single shot jab, 66.9%; but 85% of J & J vaccine were found to be effective on those with critical infections.

Our world had survived many epidemics, outbreaks, and pandemics in the past time, and for sure, it will also survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of any conflicting information flying around, the priority of everyone should be safety measures.

Please, watch out for the second part of this article titled: Is Covid-19 Vaccine the mark of the Beast?

Why is my Partner like this?

One of my husband’s goals after our wedding was to teach me how to drive. So, we delved into it without wasting much time. But honestly, it was not a good idea. I remember sitting beside a taxi driver and asking him some questions about driving, the man turned to me and asked me who was teaching me to drive. I said to him “my husband”, and he replied with “forget it, it will not work, get someone else to teach you how to drive”. The man was right. It was not that great. My husband eventually had to ask his friend to complete the training. Even when I started to drive, my husband would always find something to correct. At a point, I came up with a plan and said to myself, “whenever my husband is sitting beside me in the car while I am driving, I will try to think as he would, drive as he would, take decisions as he would”. I thought I had studied him so well that I could imitate his reasoning and way of doing things, but I was wrong. The result was worse than ever, so I decided to stick to my own brain.

Some years ago, I also started to teach our daughter how to drive. That was when I began to appreciate my husband. He was far better than me. Maybe, as a mother, I just wanted every dot and comma to be placed appropriately. I suddenly wanted to reproduce a little me in our daughter. I wanted her to drive and make decisions the way I would have done, forgetting that I had been a driver for more than twenty years. Whenever our daughter was behind the steering wheel, my brain got activated, and all my nerves were upstanding, especially during the winter. Unknown to me, I became an obstruction to her instead of helping her develop confidence in her ability and gently grow through it. I had to talk to myself, calm myself down, and put everything in God’s hands, trusting Him for safety as we drive around.

Expecting too much from our partner is the mistake many of us make in our relationship, marriage, family, fellowship, community, institutions, etc. We want perfection in others while setting up our personalities, and perspectives as the standards. We judge situations behind our spectacles, forgetting that different specifications come with each spectacle. Most of the time we are not patient enough to understand our partner and descend from our high tower to their level so we could walk them up the stairs. We expect too much from one another that we become so worried and depressed because our expectations are not often met.

It is not possible to reproduce our perfect self in another. Everybody is unique. Peace comes from understanding the peculiarity of our partner or people around us and seeing them with the eyes of love. The establishment of this foundation will pave the way for a successful relationship, mentorship, training, etc. Knowledge comes before wisdom. We cannot apply wisdom to the matter we have no knowledge or understanding of. That is why the Bible advises in the book of proverbs to get wisdom and understanding: “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” Proverbs 4:7. We must endeavor to understand one another and respect our differences.

My husband once forwarded to me an interview by a couple on marriage. I was sure he wanted me to hear something from the interview, but it was not too long before I also spotted an area he needed to listen to (lol). So I ran back to him with that aspect and we ended up making fun of ourselves. However, there was an aspect of that talk that got me and changed some of my perspectives. The wife said, “sometimes, we are asking our partner to give what they don’t have”. How can someone give what he does not have? And the fact is that no one has it all, no one. That is the reason we must complement each other in our relationship and marriage rather than competing with ourselves or focusing on a weak part of our partner.

We cannot give up on our partners because none of us is perfect or fault-free. If changing some of our perspectives will bring us peace and buy us success, it is wise to do it and let love prevail. Love is patient, kind, and suffers long, says the Bible. Love also covers a multitude of shortcomings. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. 1Corinthins 13:7,8.

If we abide by this Biblical principle of love, patience, wisdom, understanding, etc., it will save many from depressions, frustrations, high blood pressure, addictions, and diseases of all kinds. It will help our mental health and prolong our life much better.