How Does a Virus fit into God’s Design?
What is this unseen enemy that causes so much fear? We hear so much about this virus that can cause anxiety and grief, including death; we are forced to ask, “What is this?” How does it fit into the grand design of Creation? What makes it such a fierce invisible enemy? These questions and many more are popping up during this period of darkness and uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus. COVID-19 is mentioned in every news media outlet on a daily basis. This virus has been marked as an invisible enemy. As followers of Christ, we know about the invisible.
Our Lord chooses the things of the world to reveal his invisible presence on earth as affirmed in Romans 1:20, “Being understood by the things that are made.” We also acknowledge our Creator as the image of the invisible God as Colossians 1:15 announces, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” The invisible God in the form of Jesus Christ who came to earth as our Creator and Savior would clearly demonstrate that the invisible would be seen and experienced by man. We should not fear the invisible enemy if Christ is the first of all Creation and defeated death by giving us eternal hope.
Our Creator is in total control of the seen and unseen. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
Our faith is based on hope in things that cannot be seen. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God has manifested himself in everything He created, which includes the invisible living world. It is in this world where we see things that can only represent the Creator’s signature. The fantastic world made of microorganisms and biomolecules is another world taking us to places we never thought existed. This world was always there for us to find with its unique testimony that reveals God’s glory.
The Invisible Created World
We begin to see complexity at a much higher level than what we see with our eyes. With the aid of an electron microscope, we can now see 10,000,000 X magnifications of the human eye, which are magnificently superior to the 2000 X of a light microscope. The electron microscope gives us a new dimension to look at God’s created world and see how meticulously He designed these minuscule biomolecules to gather energy and reproduce. There is a great deal of information revealed to us over time and the more research that is done in this area, the more we unlock these secrets.
God uses this invisible world as a necessary foundation for us to understand what we can see with our human eyes. It states in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” God has built a foundation using invisible things like atoms, molecules, and cells to come together to make what is visible. He designed an intricate system in which these invisible parts work together so life can continue on this planet earth. Without the microorganisms basically breaking things down and recycling them back into the environment, life could not sustain itself. It demonstrates a highly thought-out system that can only come from a supreme outside intelligence.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that man is to have dominion “over every living thing that moves on the earth,” which includes microorganisms. These invisible creatures need to be tamed and kept in order as part of His command. As we dig down deep into the world to experience these tiny creatures, we will see God’s workmanship and give Him all honor and praise. We know that God’s workmanship is “good,” as affirmed in the first book of the Bible. This phrase is repeated six times, “And God saw that it was good.” On the sixth day, when he completed the creation of all things, Genesis 1:31 states, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” That included the microorganisms that were created along with the plants and all the other living things. Today what we see with viruses and other diseases that are caused by microorganisms is that things are out of order. Something went wrong in a molecular world that caused these microbes to head a different direction. When sin entered the world in Genesis 3 there was a pronouncement that there would be death.
The effects of sin would not just come upon man, but upon the whole creation also as Paul declared in Romans 8:21-22, “because the Creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Today we witness the effects of a disease that causes death.
The sin of man has affected everything in some way, and we see this today in the world without exception. We will always be subject to decay that leads to death. The world is running down, contrary to the false teaching of evolution, which promotes the opposite concept. This, of course, involves the invisible living world that, on the one hand, is good and, on the other hand, brings disease and death.
The Invisible Enemy
We should know that a virus, whether COVID-19 or Influenza, is not alive. These viruses cannot reproduce and have no way of sustaining themselves by producing their energy. There is a constant need for other living host cells to propagate, which makes them parasitic by nature. One way to get rid of virus infestation is by separating it from its living hosts. Another way is to develop a vaccine that uses the immune system to build antibodies that ward off the virus so it cannot make it a host. This is precisely what is happening today with COVID-19.
Viruses contain sections of DNA or RNA (genetic material) which is protected by a capsule made of protein. There is also a protein extension part of the capsule designed to connect to the host cell it finds. You have probably seen a picture of this in the many portrayals of COVID-19 shown by the public media. They are unique in the way the virus proteins appear in a variety of geometrical shapes. Viruses do not have a good reputation. They are identified with pathogenic diseases such as COVID-19, measles, HIV/AIDS, polio, rabies, hepatitis mumps, Ebola, and the list goes on.
Viruses by their design point to an outside designer even though they are cannibalistic and scary at the same time. These minuscule molecular machines have the ability to attack cells of all living forms, including tiny bacteria, fungi, plants, insects, all kinds of animals, and of course, humans.
The viruses ability to spread and find available hosts is dependent mainly upon their minuscule size. They are smaller than bacteria in a range of 1000 times, although there is a considerable variability in both sizes of bacteria and viruses. We need an electron microscope to identify viruses, which are 10,000,000 X magnification of the human eye. They exist at a molecular level smaller than any animal or plant cell. Our red blood cell is a giant next to a poliovirus measuring in the range of 100 times.
A poliovirus is 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. When viruses are set free in the air, they can float, making them easily transmissible. It is then reasonable to think that viruses can travel from species to species because they can attack all living forms. Many immunologists believe that humans can get viruses from animals as exemplified in Coronaviruses like SARS-CoV that began in Wuhan, China, in 2003 from poultry and MERS-CoV, which originated in 2012 in the Middle East. The current COVID-19’s origin is being debated, possibly coming from the wet market in Wuhan, China, where unusual animals are sold for food or from a Communist Chinese microbiology lab in the same area.
Research supports that viruses are selective and that not all animals get the same illness. It all depends on if they are designed to connect with the host cell’s outside structure. For example, one of the deadliest viruses was the H1N1 or the Spanish Flu that was believed to come from an avian origin, killing a third of the world’s population estimated at 50 million people in 1918.
Today we have discovered that the virus’s genetic material contains broken pieces of DNA or RNA that carry enough information to build their proteins numbering from the simplest with 4 to the most complicated numbering 200. These proteins first come as a single strand and then are cut by another specially designed biomolecule called protease, an enzyme. These proteins have a specific purpose in the building structure for the virus. Although this can never compare to the working design of the human body or any other living thing, it certainly demonstrates design from outside intelligence, not the randomness that evolutionists hopelessly declare. The virus’s proteins provide the protective coating for the capsule to house its genetic material. Also, they make outside branches to bind with a capacity to transfer the virus’s genetic information to its host cell. These biomolecules work together as integral parts, acting like a finely tuned machine to accomplish a common purpose. Their goal is to hijack the host cell’s control center and interfere with the DNA’s information control system so that it can produce its viral cells. This parasitic act is to take the life of another cell in order to solely perpetuate another form. The ultimate goal we observe results today in disease and death.
How did the Invisible Enemy Originate?
It is impossible to trace the origins of viruses. There is no fossil record for viruses, leaving room for much speculation by the evolutionary community. They have proposed a hypothesis that centers on pieces of genetic material floating outside the cell and finding its way into a cell. Supposedly they develop their complex structure over time. Of course, we know that viruses are operational machines with designed structures made out of genetic material and proteins made to host on cells. This hypothesis is much too simplistic to explain viruses as they are observed today.
There is another evolutionary hypothesis that suggests that some bacterial cells regressed into another form of a free living body that contained their genetic material as observed in viruses today. As time went on, they adapted their parasitic nature using hosts to reproduce.
Many evolutionary microbiologists believe that the mitochondria, the energy unit in animal and plant cells, has regressed into a simpler free-living form of an ancestor. All these ideas are incredibly speculative and have no scientific evidence to support these evolutionary claims. The overwhelming problem for the evolution of a virus is the tendency to mutate or change the genetic information a little bit at a time. Contrary evolutionary claims of how viruses originated are not stable. A virus changes through time at a much higher order of mutation than any other organism. Their ability to change becomes a problem because as the original genetic material degenerates over time, it leads to extinction. This goes against the evolutionist’s belief system where there is hope that more complexity would develop over time, causing the virus to climb the evolutionary ladder and become a new, more sophisticated kind of organism. The bottom line is that we don’t observe a virus changing to higher forms of organisms. A virus will always be a virus.
A Creationist View of the Invisible Enemy
As we contemplate viruses and their outcomes today, we know that something went wrong. As mentioned above, we understand that this is a result of sin and as long as we live on earth, the wrath of our just God will be upon us as predicted in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” We are guaranteed by God that as long man is ungodly, unrighteous, and suppresses the truth about their Creator and Savior, His wrath will be here on earth until there is a new earth and new heaven. God promises us, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” (Revelation 21:1) Anything that causes pain and suffering will be gone, including viruses, as we know them today.
These viruses could have been used for good in the past. We know that there is a very important microbe called a bacteriophage. A bacteriophage is a unique microbe that contains a virus in a bacterium cell. These microbes were discovered wherever bacteria were found and it is estimated that there are so many that they number 1 followed by 31 zeros. This number is larger than the estimated number of stars in the universe reaching septillion, which is 1 followed by 24 zeros. It is estimated that the number of bacteriophages or simply phages on earth is more than any other organism combined, including bacteria.
It is interesting to note that bacteriophages or phages attack fellow bacterium cells by releasing its type of virus with its genetic material covered with a protein coating that has a uniquely shaped head with 20 sides called icosahedral. One might think because of its parasitic nature, these phages cause disease, but what has been observed is just the opposite. They kill bacterial cells that cause cholera and other diseases.
They were discovered in the early 1900’s, and today research is being done to see if they can accomplish those tasks as antibiotics are used heavily today to prevent bacterial infections. Microbiologists have used phages on E. coli for researching viruses so that they will better understand the invisible enemy that causes disease and death.
In the beginning, God created all living things, including the microbes that were good to accomplish the role they fulfill today, decomposing and recycling materials that we need to live on earth. Viruses existed to assist in these processes operating like a phage ready to keep a check on diseases. They could have also aided a horizontal gene transfer to keep living things stable.
After the fall of Adam in Genesis 3, when sin entered the world, the beautiful harmonic interactions of these microsystems were turned upside down and out of order. This disorder is thereupon in the world that we cannot see but will eventually destroy our living flesh. We know how it ends because we live with the hope of the Spirit that defeats the flesh as Romans 8:13 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” There is no invisible enemy in the future, but the hope we have will be alive.
What can we do?
We know that this will pass and God is in control. We need to pray always for protection, and we hope that this letter will help you see the invisible enemy as a remnant of the flesh. Whenever confronted with disease and death, we know that it is the result of sin. Who are we to question God’s plan when he has given us eternal mercy? Everything will pass on earth and in heaven until we meet Him in the eternal kingdom.
Our eyes are focusing on Him even in this trial that affects not only our physical well being but also the financial health of our existence. This certainly has taken a toll on our CSI ministry as we had to close down all activities at the museum, and our field trips had to be postponed or canceled. Our donations have fallen due to many of our donors being affected by the uncertainty of the future. We depend on and trust our Lord to carry us through. If God leads you to help us during these months, we would appreciate your partnership to keep us moving forward.
Will you pray with us?
Let us seek Him out and let us fall on our knees in prayer. God wants us to pray together during this season. He has permitted this challenge in this time and place. We should pray to our Lord with thanksgiving because we know He loves us and knows all our needs. Let us pray,
We ask you God to remove any fears we have and to place our trust in you. Please help us by protecting and healing our loved ones, our friends, our associates, and all those in our country and the world from this virus. We beseech you, almighty God, to defeat this disease with your divine intervention, whether it be directly from your merciful hand or using man, your image-bearer.
We ask you, O heavenly Father, please take care of those who suffer financially and make sure that their needs are abundantly filled. Please provide for those who minister in your name, your church, and other ministries who extend their hands into our communities. May they be mightily blessed during this period. O Lord, we ask you to take care of our CSI ministry so that we can continue to serve you without stopping. In the name of Jesus, Amen.