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♣ Beyond a Pandemic

“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades… Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” – Revelation 1:17-18; 20:12-13.

LITTLE DID ANY one of us expect a drastic life change as a result of this world-wide pandemic. Within weeks our normal ‘secure’ routines have been sorely interrupted and how long this may continue have millions speculating. Nonetheless, we are all left in the ‘dark’ as to how this will continue to escalate and affect; will it be brought under control sooner than we anticipate or hope for? No one knows for sure.

We are not isolated from other epochs in history; what makes it seem severer is our media that brings to our very finger tips in an instance what has just taken place minutes ago 12000 miles from where we sit or stand. Communication is light-speed.

This brief article is not so much to do with the subject of Covid-19 but rather, what may lie beyond it.

The book of Revelation has no doubt aroused renewed interest, but our era is no different from others; every crises has many readers perusing its pages. Coincidentally, circumstances have seemed to match Revelation’s timeline throughout history and here we are still.

Interestingly, the book of Revelation was written for the simple, common man and woman in Christendom – not for the scholar’s who are ‘skilled’ in using their timeline charts to ‘accurately’ interpret and depict the present and days/years ahead.

The entire Church age will glean richness of hope and encouragement from its truth; it is not confined to one particular era or either chronological in its timeline, relevant for one millennia and applicable for another; it is an undying message of hope from Christ to His bride – the Church – that He is reigning now; is in control of all things and rightly so as the apostle stated in 1 Corinthians 15:25 “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet”, which undoubtedly speaks of the ever-present moving through time.

Christ is the central pillar of Revelation and any apocalyptic interest that deviates our focus away from our Rock; any prophecy that holds us spellbound makes us no less guilty of John worshipping the angel who showed him what must take place and what a sight that must have been. Prophecy has its element that arouses amazement and such amazement must always lead to worshipping God aright; it must always end with Him, just as with the disciples on the mount of transfiguration – taken up with Him only, not Moses or Elijah, after they were firmly directed to do so.

Scripture’s final book has and still is being misinterpreted that leaves readers and hearers fearful and despondent  – no different from a secular society in its mass panic to overstock on food, copious amounts of antibacterial formula (enough to make a virus smile) and sufficient stocks of lavatory roll that would enable us to finally climb our way to Venus. Preposterous as much as today’s reaction through mass buying.

The message of Revelation is the Beacon of Light in this hopeless world that echoes our Lord’s words, that when all these things take place, stand up and lift up your heads for your redemption is so very near (Luke 21:28). Panic or peace; stress or rest – resting in His sovereignty? What really grabs your attention when reading this book; who do you see and how do you feel? Do we see Christ’s reign where all things are subservient to His authority, or are we tangled with working out where we are in the church age?

So what may lie beyond this pandemic with Covid-19? Our attention is so heavily focussed on this crisis that nothing else comes into view. In the limelight, WHO (World Health Organisation) is carrying out the most significant role in an attempt to bring things under control and supposedly return us to living the way we are accustomed to. A world health organisation – an authority that presides over every nation, directly or indirectly – has certainly changed our lifestyle, but what else is being spelled out here? The New World Order already has a stigma attached to it, but with all serious consideration, wouldn’t this be a prime time to implement such procedures?

Hasn’t the NWO been discussed for the last few decades? Conspiracy or veracity? Nations are at such a standstill almost that it will take a global-authority to rescue us out of this pandemic. Is this a good or bad thing?

Many Christians will see the New World Order as something blatantly satanic, an order that will instil fear into the lives of many. What side do we take: George Orwell’s world of 1984 where we are taken over by force or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World where we are anaesthetised through entertainment and pleasure?

What really is the spirit of the antichrist? How did the Victorians view Satan and demons? Anything apart from Scripture, for the devil disguises himself as an angel of light – something that is beautiful to behold and those outside of Christ will be charmed by beauty, for a world established on vanity will most easily fall for its deception.

The New World Order will not appear as volatile as many depict. Instead it will be a tremendous inroad of success that will eliminate world poverty (social-gospel Christians beware), end war, terrorism, amalgamate civilisations as one, bring peace and harmony in ways that will amaze the majority, equal status will finally be implemented – everyone will be on the same level and the so-called ‘evolutionary’ process will have reached heights never attained before. It will be so impressive to the point of turning the hearts of those who anticipated it with fear.

What really will be the error with the New World Order? Nothing apart from the fact that all its success will be achieved without God, void of God and void of His blessing. It will be another tower of Babel for history shows that humanity repeats its mistakes; it reaches so high only to be levelled to failure and humiliation time after time.

The spirit of the antichrist is independence of God; it is humanity ever-striving to better itself on the foundation of self-righteousness – the very aspect that condemns every man and woman to eternal torment and separation from the love of God. The spirit of the antichrist is not bad in a moralistic way; it will be good but at the same time the very enemy of the best. God’s way is always best that makes the good revealed as vile to its very core.

The New World Order will be full of enterprises that will boast of its tremendous achievements that, if it were possible, the very elect of God would be deceived by its sheer brilliance (but absolute abhorrence in the eyes of God), to which every man and woman will stand to give a full account before Him.

Those in a life-saving faith in Christ only need to be concerned with one thing: abiding in Him. Refuse to be distracted by the many things (no matter how good they may be) that surround us and distract us away from being with Him. One thing is needful: time with Him, being alone with Him. Church fellowship is no substitute for walking alone with Him and if we find it to be so then we are merely socialising; our faith is not in Him but in others. Yes, we are the body of Christ, growing up together in Him, but real fellowship can never take place without first fellowshipping with Him; spiritual fellowship is an inevitable outflow and sharing of the reality of a personal knowledge and experience of Him.

In these days, let us view these isolating times as an opportunity to be alone with Him, bathing in His Word, letting that take further root in all of us until all we hear is Him.

A world out there is waiting to hear of the very reason of the hope that is within us. This is a time of God’s judgement and mercy – mercy to us in preparing us to speak to the world with power and authority. As Leonard Ravenhill once said, “The world is not looking for a NEW definition of the Gospel, but for a NEW demonstration of the Power of the Gospel!”

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