There was a time not long ago when this Yellow Deli was buzzing with the sound of happy customers sharing a meal together, and I'm sure one day soon it will be again, but in the meantime I sit alone in an empty Deli sipping some Yerba Mate, listening to the familiar traditional tunes that always fill the air here... and writing this short article for you. It's currently a pleasant way to spend some time, riding out the wave of social upheaval brought on by the spread of a coronavirus.
It's not actually a full social lock-down, at least not yet, but it sure feels like it, as few people are to be seen anywhere in public at this point, let alone anywhere near our little Yellow Deli. It's possible that this whole event could pass, and we would all look back and hardly remember how strange the whole world felt at this time. But as the days pass, it seems increasingly more likely that the world will never be the same again.
Of the few customers who have dared step foot outside of their home to come and get carry-out order at our Deli, most have lost jobs, as so many companies have shut down. How long will those businesses be closed? Will they ever recover? How long will all these people be without a job? Will they receive any compensation for lost wages? How will they pay their bills? Can the economy handle such a fierce blow? What will the government do in response, and as a result what will society look like in just a few years? Are we on the brink of catastrophe, or a great rebound?
There are many puzzling questions that one could be mulling over endlessly at a time like this, but we're not focusing on any of these things right now. That's because we know something of far greater concern than COVID-19.
It's quite possible that what we are seeing is actually part of a great maneuver to introduce a whole new global paradigm on the face of the earth. Whether it's part of an intentional agenda or not is debatable, but it certainly seems like the inevitable direction that the world has been heading toward for a long time now.
What will that new global society look like? There are so many opinions and guesses, but we're not really into speculating. Certainly a new global society could be introduced, and it could be very oppressive, but not necessarily. It could just as well come in the form of a solution to all the world's problems, and save the day, so to speak. Either way, that's not our concern. The world will do what the world will do, and in the end we know the world is perishing and will fade away.
In the midst of it all, however, we are encouraged because we know there is a Creator, and that He is actually at work doing something on the earth in these days. He's not sitting idly by, watching events unfold without concern. In fact, He's foreknown this time and has been looking forward to it.
It is for these days that He has been waiting -- to raise up a whole new society of His own on the earth, which will stand in the stark contrast to the global society that is also coming into form at this time. We know we are in these days because the time of the end is described well by the Prophet Daniel1 when he said, "Conceal the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
So that's what society will look like in the time of the end; and that is certainly what we see on the face of the earth today. People travel to and fro like never before. With air travel, you can fly anywhere in the world and arrive within 24 hours. At the time the Bible was written, and even all the way up to just 150 years ago, such world travel was unimaginable, and with continually increasing technology, who knows what kind of advancements still lie ahead even in the near future.
The other factor that marks the time of the end is an increase in knowledge. Never before has such an exchange of information and global communication been possible, all from a device that you simply hold in your hand. This technology too is developing rapidly and will certainly surpass anything we could have previously imagined in just a short time longer.
Truly, the world is connected in a way it's never been before, and perfectly fits the description of the end times according to Daniel. So, that means that we are also approaching the time in which the meaning of Daniel's prophecies will be unsealed. The end could not have come any earlier, for we've never been in times of such great communication and transportation until now.
Daniel 22 speaks of a time when ten kings will come to power to form a whole new society such as the world has never seen before. The ten kings are described in the Bible in different ways. In one place they are called ten toes, and are referenced also in Revelation 173 as ten horns, as they wage war against the people of God in the time of the end.
Simultaneous to the ten kings taking power as the heads of a new global society, the God of Heaven will establish a kingdom of His own on the earth that stands in stark contrast to the kingdoms of this world. Two kingdoms raised up alongside each other, in direct opposition -- the kingdom of God, and the kingdoms of this world.
The kingdom of God is something the world has actually seen once before, for one shining moment in history. It is the kingdom that Yahshua taught His disciples to pray for -- "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" -- and for which he offered his own life in order to purchase all mankind from death,4 as the ultimate ransom.5 He commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that they themselves had been commanded.6 As a result, on the day of Pentecost, His disciples (the apostles) communicated the terms of the gospel just as they had received it. They taught the 3,000 people that responded on that day that they must leave everything behind7 in order to follow Yahshua,8 just as they themselves had done.9
Just as this command from Yahshua brought the disciples together to follow Him before He was crucified, the same command from the apostles brought about the same response from the 3,000 who all left everything behind as a response to the gospel.10 This formed a whole new society in which they all lived together communally in many places throughout the region.11
The apostle Paul traveled to many of the communities in that time to exhort them to stay on the pattern they had received at first, as there was a natural drifting coming in to compromise their special new society. He commends the Thessalonians for keeping the pattern as it was first established in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.12 But in many of his letters, he writes to warn various churches13 that they are drifting from the original pattern and don't even realize it.14 He even makes it clear that he anticipates a great falling away to occur once his life is over.15
The whole New Testament is an account of the rise and collapse of this new society which was supposed to bring an end to the kingdoms of this world. Surely they must have thought they were the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, the Stone Kingdom of Daniel 2:44,16 on course to bring an end to this wicked age. They were a beacon of light17 for the world to see what the love of God, poured out into the hearts of a people, actually looks like, but they did not endure until the end.18
Perhaps it wasn't meant to happen at that time. After all, only now are we beginning to see conditions on the earth that appear to match up with Daniel's description of the end times. So now, 2,000 years later, we anticipate the formation of a new society of ten world powers in an alliance to rule the world. Meanwhile, right along with it, we look on as we see the God of Heaven establishing His kingdom on the earth once again at this time.
So when we see a global crisis brought right to our front door, we are of course concerned about those we love. This pandemic has affected us, and especially the older ones in our midst, much as it has the rest of the world. How confusing and scary these times would be if it were not for the great hope that comes with it -- that there actually is a God who is at work restoring the life of the early church as a witness of His love for mankind. This will bring about the end of this selfish age and the return of Yahshua, the Messiah, ushering in the Kingdom of God and an age of true peace for a thousand years!
As I write this I consider our communities that have been established in many places all over the earth for the past fifty years. We truly aspire to be part of the Stone that rolls down the mountain in these last days to bring an end to all the confusion that now fills the earth. We invite you to contact us or continue reading. We would love to hear from you!