As happens at least once a week, I get involved in a discussion concerning eschatology. What’s happening in Afghanistan and the push for a global reset is bringing out the prophecy pundits.
The following comment caught my attention:
Do you also blame the Roman empire on the present-day rush towards globalism, a global digital currency, and a global government? how does Nero factor into what you are seeing with your own eyes today? I know you gotta brand your trying to protect, but that brand is as useless as a Weimar deutchmark.
Here’s my response.
I suggest you read Frank Gumerlock’s book The Day and the Hour for a detailed study of nearly 2000 years of failed prophetic speculation. Where does the Bible talk about “global digital currency”? In what way is the “buy and sell language” of Revelation 13 about digital currency? How would the first readers of Revelation have understood that a digital currency was being prophesied?
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When we let the Bible define buying and selling, we come away with a different meaning. Jesus mentions buying and selling in Matthew 21:12. There is certainly a literary connection. Revelation 13 is not describing a modern-day technological society because, in Revelation 6, the earth would have been destroyed by “the stars” that fell from the heavens “to the earth” (v. 13). And if that didn’t mess things up, in Revelation 12, we read about a “great red dragon” whose “tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth” (vv. 3–4). How could the earth survive let alone keep track of people implanted with microchips or Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) implants after such devastation? If stars hit the earth, the earth would not exist. If these stars are meteorites, the destruction they would bring would wipe out civilization as we know it.
If stars are symbols, then so is what we read in Revelation 13 and so are beasts and buying and selling. I’ve written on the meaning of “buying and selling” in the article “The Mark of the Beast and Buying and Selling.” It’s an eye-opener if you stick with the Bible and not engage in “Internet Exegesis.” If James Jordan is right (and I believe he is), then everything you’ve heard or read about buying and selling is most likely incorrect.
Even though the book of Revelation is fulfilled prophecy, it does not mean there are not principles that can be applied to our lives today. Tyranny is tyranny, whether it was ecclesiastical tyranny in the first century when the religious leaders in Jesus’ day wanted Him (John 8:59) and His disciples dead (Acts 7–8) or maimed (2 Cor. 11:28) or political tyranny during the time of Nero and the lead up to the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in AD 70.
While Christians are dithering because of something called the “rapture,” Islamists are making plans for world domination. Taliban commander Muhammed Arif Mustafa told CNN: “It’s our belief that one day, mujahedin will have victory, and Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world.”
Eschatology and law matter. Also, our elected officials have been downplaying Islamic ascendancy since 9-11. “Islamaphobia” became the new watchword while white conservatives (including Christians) became the supposed real terrorist threat to the US and the world. No worries, “since,” according to the late Jimmy DeYoung, “all Christians leave earth at the Rapture three and a half years before the mark comes into play.”
Some might ask, “But isn’t this all evidence that Jesus is coming soon?” No, it’s an indictment of a crippled biblical worldview and an escapist eschatology that is not taught in the Bible. Islam can only sustain itself by force and western stupidity. Why do you think Islamists force women to wear burquas and forbid them to be educated? To keep them subjected and cut off from the truth. To an Islamist, the Bible is like sunlight to Dracula. Secularism in the West is similarly fearful. Secularists do not want anyone questioning their worldview. Cancel culture is designed to keep people from learning about the inadequacies of their operating assumptions. Don’t ever try to question abiogenesis, homosexuality, abortion, or transgenderism. They are intellectually fragile positions, and the Leftists know it, so their ideologies must be protected from those questioning their operating assumptions.
Trying to change the world using the military does not work, so it’s no wonder that Islamists use it against us by drawing us into unwinnable contests. Osama bin Laden understood America’s weaknesses and took advantage of them. He knew that the United States had abandoned the core principles of Christianity that beat back Islam centuries ago. Here’s what Omar bin Laden said about his father’s tactics in 2010:
“It was my father who made Russia poor, in the war in Afghanistan. He ruined their economy. He is doing the same thing to America right now…. I am sure my father wanted McCain more than Obama. McCain ha[d] the same mentality as Bush.
What about Global government? The Islamists will fail, but that doesn’t mean they won’t wreak havoc on the world in their attempts. As Larry P. Arnn points out, “Totalitarianism will never win in the end—but it can win long enough to destroy a civilization.”
The United States, the most powerful nation in the world, spent 20 years in Afghanistan with no success. Every attempt at globalism has failed. Egypt? Deserts and Pyramids. Babylon? Remnants in the British Museum. Greece? In 2017, my wife and I visited the distant empire’s ruins that are strewn about. Even the Parthenon is in ruins. Remember the Roman Empire? Like Greece, the once-grand Collisium is a tourist attraction. Holy Roman Empire? Gone. The Third Reich? A distant memory. Before Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini was said to be the antichrist by Oswald J. Smith in 1926. The advance of Communism? What’s left of full-fledged Communism? Cuba and North Korea. China has been empowered by the West. According to Major George Racey Jordan, Lenin wrote, “When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract.”
Nero doesn’t fit, and that’s the point. John wasn’t describing digital currency any more than he was describing Cobra Helicopters. For centuries Christians have been delinquent in leading in terms of worldview issues. Here’s a test: What book would you recommend on International Relations that is solidly Christian? The thing of it is, because of the eschatological views of some who make prophetic predictions, such a book would be unnecessary since the church is going to be raptured before all hell breaks loose and the antichrist comes to power. We’re always told that it’s going to happen very, very, very, very shortly. You can’t just say soon or shortly, since the book of Revelation said the events described therein were to happen “shortly” because the “time is near” (1:1, 3). Not near for us, but near for John’s first audience. In the end, to close my mini-rant, the modern-day eschatological system that is so popular is as worthless as a Weimar Deutschmark but much more dangerous.
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Guy Lawson, “Osama’s Prodigal Son: The Dark, Twisted Journey of Omar bin Laden,” Rolling Stone (January 20, 2010): https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/osamas-prodigal-son-the-dark-twisted-journey-of-omar-bin-laden-199468/
Larry P. Arnn, “Orwell’s 1984 and Today,” Imprimis, 49:12 (December 2020), 6.