“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Vaccination, by Randall D. Kittle


In a vision, I saw a large group of people lined up outside a beautiful, new church building. The people were all nicely dressed, and in the parking lot there were lots of expensive cars. As I watched the crowd enter the doors into the lobby area, I had a strange, haunting feeling. The Holy Spirit seemed to be telling me that something was wrong. As I looked around, I saw the area decorated with pictures of Jesus and various Bible verses, but I noticed that nowhere was there a picture of the cross or Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. Nowhere in the narthex area was there anything that referred to the blood, the cross, or Jesus’ death. Then the people started entering into the auditorium. They streamed in, forming one long line that worked its way up to the front. As I looked at the front of the auditorium, I could see a person who was handing a sugar cube to each one as they made their way to the front. It looked like people waiting to be inoculated with the polio vaccination similar to when I was a child. Every person came and waited in line to receive this sugar cube vaccination. Then I heard the Lord proclaim, “Who will be My spiritual typhoid Marys, spreading the gospel that will infect this dying world with My new life.”

God’s Epidemic
In order to understand this article, you will have to get into your mind the thought of the gospel of Jesus Christ as being an epidemic. Now we think of epidemics as bad and negative things (and for diseases that bring sickness and death they are), but in a non-medical sense anything that spreads quickly can be thought of as an epidemic. That is exactly how Christianity spread when it started - it spread in epidemic proportions.

Certainly from the perspective of our fallen state, the gospel of Jesus Christ is like an epidemic infection - it can spread rapidly and threatens to wipe out the existence of life as we know it. This is good, for life as we know it is not life the way God intended it to be. When you get infected with this epidemic, you die to this life so the new life of Christ can come and take its place. Just like the world would try to put an end to a deadly infection (such as the recent Swine Flu epidemic), Satan has tried to contain and eradicate the re-enlivening gospel message of Jesus Christ.

Satan's Quarantine
When a powerful infectious organism is growing and spreading disease, the first thing people do to try to stem the tide of its spread is quarantine the people who have contracted it. This is exactly what was done when the Swine Flu epidemic broke out. People were quarantined by limiting travel in and out of certain cities, and isolating those who had just come back from where they might have been exposed to those who carry the condition.

This is exactly what Satan did to thwart the gospel when the Church was birthed. He tried to prevent it from spreading by isolating it.
“Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day , for it was already evening” (Acts 4:1-3).

What we see here is the disciples sharing all about Jesus’ death and resurrection and people are getting healed. The rulers of the day are getting nervous because this “Jesus thing” could spread like wildfire. Wanting to find some way of containing it, they arrest Peter and John and throw them in jail. The goal here was to isolate; to get those “infected” with Jesus out of circulation. But they were too late, and it didn't work.
“However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).

Further Evaluation
Obviously this “infection” was quite virulent, which means in medical terms that it is strong, powerful, and spreads quickly. So the enemy had to step up his “treatment.”
“And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’” (Acts 4:5-7). Doctors do this same thing when there is a serious condition. They take a case history in which they ask a lot of questions hoping to discover what is going on, what makes the infection so powerful, and why it is spreading. That is what the rulers were doing.

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the “stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.” Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:8-13).

Upping The Dosage
At this point the rulers had given up on merely relying upon isolation (keeping those with the condition away from others) and were now trying to suppress the condition in the life of the disciples by severely threatening them. This is much like a doctor putting you on antibiotics, trying to get the infection out of you.

Satan’s “antibiotic” was not strong enough, for this did not work very well either.
“But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20). That is a verse we need to live by — we cannot help but speak the things of God! Having been defeated in his attempt to stop the spread of the gospel, Satan gave them another little dose of the “antibiotic” and sent them on their way. “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done” (Acts 4:21).

Strong Measures
When the initial phase of treatment - quarantine, case history, consultations, and antibiotic therapy - doesn't work to stop an epidemic, it is time to use strong measures. For example, if you are trying to treat a condition such as cancer, you use powerful medicine that almost kills the person who is affected in hopes it will also kill off the condition. Many of these very serious medical conditions are treated with drugs called anti-metabolites. These are medications that stop or impede your metabolism. They stop you from growing and replacing cells that are damaged. In short, they sort of kill you slowly in hopes that the condition you are being treated for is killed off first. These drugs have strong side effects such as your hair falling out, being extremely nauseated, accelerated ageing, and severe weight loss.

Satan does the same thing when he tries to treat the epidemic of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we can find it in Acts 8:1-3.
“At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” If isolation or threats won’t stop you from sharing about Jesus, it is time for the enemy to unleash the severe treatment of persecution.

The believers of the early church were thrown out of the synagogue, some were beaten, others tortured, and many killed. But Satan didn't feel the Jewish persecution was harsh enough, and soon the Romans took over the persecution of the Christians because they refused to worship Caesar. When the Christians refused to burn incense unto Caesar, they were torn in half, nailed to crosses, thrown into dens of lions, used in the gladiator rings, and lit on fire to light the streets of Rome. Satan unleashed this harsh level of persecution. They were very strong measures designed to try to not only stop Christianity from spreading, but to get rid of it. But what happened? It spread through all the Roman Empire like wildfire, for it is the strongest epidemic the world has ever seen - an epidemic designed by God!

The Vaccination
Christianity was unquenchable. It just kept spreading. Now when you have a terrible infection like polio or AIDS, what is man's best solution? A vaccine! If we can get a vaccine, the condition will soon be in check like smallpox in America. A vaccine is defined as "an inoculation of a weakened or dead organism such as a virus incapable of producing severe infection, but capable of producing resistance in its recipient." This is exactly what Satan did in the spiritual realm. We can see this in 2 Timothy 3:5, “they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people” (TEV). That is a pretty strong warning.

Satan’s vaccine for Christianity is a weakened form of godliness without the power. Around 300 AD Satan got his vaccine finished and ready to apply when the institutional church was organized. This inoculation changed believers from radically, excited disciples meeting together with their gifts being used to build up each other and reach the lost, to an institution that had a certain person who was “the hired worker.” With Satan's great immunization campaign, the growing epidemic of Christianity was rendered an institutional church - nice, neat, tidy, and just weak enough to start slowing down Christianity's rapid growth. Did Christianity still grow after that? Certainly, but I believe it is mostly because not everyone got vaccinated. Christianity is still spreading because there has not been a complete inoculation of everyone.

Modern Immunization
Satan’s plan to immunize the world against the gospel of Jesus Christ is alive and well in America. It has moved into a more active and effective stage in a recent movement within the Church that is growing quickly. There was a study done a while ago looking at the Christian denominations or associations that are growing the most rapidly, and they found that the ones that are growing the most quickly right now of “true Christians” are those who have taken marketing techniques and applied them to Christianity. What they have done is to take the advertising skills of Wall Street and the polling skills of our politicians, combined them together, and applied them to the church. Their desire is to find out what people want, and give it to them. They have been very successful and are growing rapidly.

Welcome To Club Jesus
One of the things often overlooked is that they stress in their teachings the importance of not mentioning certain things that make people uncomfortable. These are such things as battle or warfare, persecution and tribulation, the cross of Jesus (which is alright to mention as a symbol of faith, but not as an instrument of death), the blood of Jesus Christ, or hell. There is no "demeaning" calling to repentance, simply an asking people to make a decision, accept Jesus, and be part of the team.

These “churches” are not truly making disciples, merely making members. I refer to these “churches” as “Club Jesus.” And I want you to know that Club Jesus is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the United States. They would consider themselves a church that is making converts, but to what are these people converted? For the sake of eternity it is important not just what you are converted from, but what are you converted to! Most people in Club Jesus are more rooted in the world than rooted in the Word. You cannot take the Bible and remove the blood, delete the cross, edit out Jesus’ death, and cut out repentance and have much of a Bible left when you are done. It would certainly be a “holey” bible, but it would have little to do with the Holy Bible.

This is what Leonard Ravenhill had to say about this kind of “christianity,”
“With a slick phraseology of modern salesmanship, the masses are being gulled into buying a gospel that is like sunless tanning lotion - applied just from the bottle it gives color without the user ever seeing the sun.” Although many may look like they have seen the Son, they have never really seen Him, for only through repentance and the blood of Jesus can anyone enter the kingdom of God.

Another Gospel
While this isn’t a new problem, the true difficulty in our day is that now instead of it being seen as a problem at all, it is being embraced and coveted and copied throughout the church. In various church circles pastors are looking at this technique and declaring “This is great stuff. We need to be doing the same thing.” But I want you to understand this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is another gospel. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).

This gospel with no blood, no cross, no death and resurrection, and no repentance is a perverted gospel, which is really no gospel at all. It can provide no salvation, and so sharing this with people is harming them not helping them. While it is a form of godliness, it will have no true power. What is the power of the gospel? The cross is the power of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says,
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” If you take out the cross, you are removing the power of God from the message, and you will be left with simply the wisdom of man.

A bloodless gospel is also no gospel at all. Hebrews 9:22 says,
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” If you are going to remove the blood from the gospel, you are going to have no forgiveness of sins regardless of what others might think.

A gospel without repentance is like a house without a door. It may be wonderful inside, but according to the Bible there is no way to enter. The Bible tells us that without repentance we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). If you look at Jesus' earthly ministry, the first thing he preached was repentance, “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). If we look at the end of the Bible, what is Jesus saying to the seven churches in the book of Revelation? Repent! Jesus starts His ministry by speaking on repentance, and He ends the Book by speaking on repentance. Obviously, repentance is important to Jesus.

Now the solution to this inoculation - this weak and watered down gospel - is to make certain that we are telling the entire gospel. People need to hear the gospel that has both the blood and the glory, man's repentance and God's grace. When the angel set the apostles free from prison after they had been arrested by the Sadducees, what did he tell them? Did he tell them to "cool their jets" or water down the message to make it more acceptable? No, this is what the angel said,
"Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life" (Acts 5:20). The angel had just set them free from being arrested and persecuted for this, but his order was not to make their message weaker or a little less powerful or a little more palatable, but to tell the full message. And so must we today.

What the Lord is looking for are spiritual typhoid Marys who will go about this world spreading His new life with everyone they come in contact with. He wants us to stop inoculating the world with a watered down gospel, and instead give them the full message of this marvelous blood-bought redemption. As we tell the world this message, we will come upon resistance mostly by those who have been inoculated to the gospel by the vaccine of weakened Christian philosophy that has been packaged to appeal to our current culture. But let us never forget that there is power in the true gospel, and it will begin to both affect and infect those around us. The true authentic gospel is guaranteed to do two things. First of all it is going to appeal to those the Holy Spirit is wooing and drawing, and it is going to bring them into the kingdom of God and save their souls. It is also going to cause persecution and mocking and ridicule by the world, because that is what the Bible says. Paul went out doing the will of God and the world didn't trumpet him and say he was a great guy. No, the world thought of him as
"… the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world" (1 Corinthians 4:13). But that is not the way heaven sees him.

Like the disciples of old, let us declare that the Spirit of God within us compels us to declare to a lost and dying world the whole message of God's glorious salvation.
"For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

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