Evangelist Kenneth Copeland says the coronavirus has been around for a long time, and that it has only been a "weak" strain of the flu in the past. But, Copeland says, it isn't the coronavirus that believers should focus their attention and concerns on in this hour.
The coronavirus has killed more than 4,600 people worldwide in recent months, with more than 126,000 reported cases. Copeland took to the airwaves Wednesday night on Victory Channel and said the fear that COVID-19 has caused around the globe is much worse than the strain of virus itself, spiritually speaking.
"Fear is a spirit. It is an evil spirit, it is the spirit of death," Copeland says. "But 2 Timothy 1:7 says it clearly that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Forget about the coronavirus. It's the flu.
"Fear is a spiritual force. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Well, fear comes by hearing and hearing by the word of the devil. Fear tolerated is faith contaminated. The coronavirus is a curse of the law.
"Fear is not OK. It is sin. It is a magnet for sickness and disease. The moment you begin to fear about anything, the devil goes to work on you. You are giving the devil a pathway to your body."
Copeland cited Job 3:25, which says, "For the thing which I greatly feared has happened to me, and that which I dreaded has come to me. I am not at peace, I have no quiet, I cannot rest, turmoil has come."
Copeland says the enemy is working overtime on God's people in this hour to keep them in a state of panic. And the sad part, he says, is that people are succumbing to the spirit of fear instead of living in faith.
He said he heard that some pastors around the country are asking congregants not to come to services on Sundays, but to watch them at home via live streaming.
Copeland also cited Romans 14:22-23, which says, "The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because is it not from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin."
"Living in fear is simply a decision," Copeland says. "Fear is not of God. Fear is faith in whatever you are afraid of. If you have fear of snakes, you have faith in that snake that he is going to harm or kill you.
"Who is the tormenter? It's the devil. People are so tormented by this coronavirus that they're going out and buying up everything in sight. People do crazy things when they live in fear. But I tell you, you're just asking for the virus and sickness when you choose to live in fear, whether it's the coronavirus or losing your job or anything else. You can be afraid of anything and bring it to yourself.
"We have shifted from spiritual thinking to carnal thinking. If you listen to people long enough, it will get through to you and control your life. If you're afraid of something, it gets down in your spirit and controls your life. That is what has happened with this coronavirus."
Copeland invites those who want to rid themselves of the spirit of fear to call his ministry at 877-281-6297. He is also giving away his booklet, Freedom From Fear, as a free digital download at Govictory.com/coronavirus.
Wednesday Coronavirus Developments
In a national address Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump announced a ban on travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days, beginning Friday at midnight, which will not include travel from the United Kingdom.
The National Basketball Association announced Wednesday that it has suspended its season indefinitely because a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus. Also on Wednesday, the NCAA announced that fans will not be able to attend its championships, including the 2020 men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments amid concerns of spread of the coronavirus.
MSN.com also reported that actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
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