March 2018 Newsletter - "Natural Killer Cells" by Pastor Roni Burton
Shalom saints. Years ago, when I was in medical school, I learned that a most fascinating part of our physiology was a component of our defense mechanisms, a part of cellular immunity named “the complement system.” I likened it to the shadow part of the defense department; a type of secret service that is mysterious and clandestine, essential for our survival, with special abilities to kill the “bad guys” (viruses, and cancer cells). In that “secret society” of ‘watchmen’ there is a community of cells that are named natural killer (NK) cells. These are “non-T, non-B lymphocytes that are critical in defense against virally-infected cells and in tumor surveillance. These cells are considered part of the innate immune system, because they do not require previous exposure to foreign, pathologic or dangerous antigens to act,” (1). In other words, these cells are like “special ops” forces that are ready to destroy what does not look like the body, i.e. if it’s not true, what is false is destroyed. A few of the features of NK cells is that they are fast. “During an acute viral infection, increased NK cell toxicity is evident within three days,” (2). They are distinguished from other members of the immune community, in that NK cells don’t have to be exposed to the antigens (the sins) before they are effective. “They act through receptors that are encoded in the germline DNA and do not undergo genetic recombination to attain specificity,” (3). It may take a week for the “regular” immune system to kick in. For example, when one has a cold, the immune system involves the production of antibodies based on genetic recombination by T and B cells. “NK cells constantly survey surrounding cells for abnormalities… Tumor cells and cells that are infected with certain viruses… are therefore recognized as non-self and are targeted for destruction,” (4). There are many other features of NK cells, including how they kill, diseases resulting from their deficiency, genetic features, etc. that are fascinating. However, what can be naturally observed and learned about NK cells is already speaking beyond their appearance. In 1 Cor 15:46 the apostle Paul teaches us that it is “not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual,” (5).
So then, what can be said about the NK cells, which may open our eyes to see deeper? Here at Forerunner Ministries International, Pastor Michael Petro has opened our spiritual eyes to see the prophetic scriptures; to hear and see the mystery of Christ, the Word reflected in our ‘natural’ experiences. The apostle Paul tells us, “the visible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,” (6).
One view of the NK cells is to see them as “spiritual watchmen.” They scan the body for what may quickly kill it (viruses, cancers, i.e. the demonic lies that break DNA of the Torah). These lead to spiritual death and physical manifestations of disease. In 2 Sam 18:19-30 there is a powerful story of watchmen guarding the gates to the kingdom of David. In 2 Sam 18:19 Ahimaaz is mentioned. His name means brother of anger and his father is Zadock (meaning righteous). Thus, righteous anger against rebellion to the kingdom of David brought the painful news of the death of his rebellious son Absalom, whose name means father of peace. Absalom did not live up to his name and like a cancer cell or a virus to Truth that looked the part but was false (evil), NK cells were created to detect rebellious cells infected with viruses or cancer and eliminate them. In Psalm 139:23-24 David declares, “Search me O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” David understood spiritual NK cells. Without them we could not survive. Until next time, may you walk in divine health; spirit, soul, and body.
- NK cell deficiency syndromes: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis by Jordan S Orange, MD, PhD; UpToDate.
- Romans 1:20; King James Version of the Bible.
- All other scripture references; King James Version.