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THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD
IN A SPURIOUS, FURIOUS PATH
LEADING TO THE ONSET OF
THE KINGDOMS OF THE LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST
The Ultimate Catastrophe
for the Intimate Casuistry of Generations
and the Ultimate Blessing
through the Ministry of the Messiah
DANIEL'S FOURTH EMPIRE
Imperial insights from the Bible correlate closely with historical facts from life! The 4th (and last) Empire*1 predicted by Daniel, centuries before it came into being, has a long line of developments precisely in line with the amazing continuity it has shown, linked to its definite fragility, just as Daniel 2 foretold.
It was seen in the Daniel 2 image of a large statue, with golden head for Babylon, and its empire, chest of silver for Medes and Persians, loins of bronze for Greece and Alexander as in Daniel 8, and feet of iron and clay, partly strong, partly fragile, brittle, ready for breakage. This dual feature is not only utterly applicable to this 4th empire, but systematically so. It has been in its very nature.
As we reflect on the Roman Empire, the first format for this 4th Empire, on its Fall of 410, the efforts to continue in the East in Constantinople, the rising up of the Franks and the success against a marauding Islamic militancy, in Tours, 732 A.D., its troubles in Spain with the Moors, the slicing of of Africa to a large degree by Islam, where Rome had some relatively small impact, the rise of Romanism, the religious aspect of the Empire, partly inherited from its earlier phase, this same trend to wanting primacy in all things it touched, that this-world variety of Christendom which harried the saints (cf. Ancient Words ... Ch. 14), then we find the relevant fact. Through all these movements,we see the continuity and the fragility forecast for the 4th Empire: both. We ALSO see its continuity, that it might indeed be the last in the major thrusts.
Even in the religious format, there was still the presence of an imperial power with armies attached, even if they were gained by using kingdoms and susceptible kings. It turned itself into the Holy Roman Empire, and continued to be plagued with the papal pre-occupation with eminence, almost like a religious remodelling of the Roman Empire itself.
It was not all iron. Clay there was.
Thus in the 15th century, there were the uprisings in Bohemia with the breach of imperial protection wrought by the papacy and Huss's martyrdom and that of many others; in the 16th, there were the divisions in Germany, as there was a foul slaughter of Protestants on a large scale by treachery on St Bartholomew's day in France, where Roman rule was threatened, just as there was the slicing off of Britain from its rule, together with the rise of Protestantism. This limited the imperial and Romanist grasp, while the growing power of the British Empire extended that limit, so that the imperious rule of the Holy Roman Empire came sputtering to its end at least formally in 1806, just as the capers of Napoleon in his French, pre-Hitler powers, led to a new unity in Europe, taken over with a group of smaller imperial aspirations from European nations, with Britain becoming the prominent if not dominant Empire. Yet this Empire was still an expansion of European powers, if you consider not so much the title, European, as the continuity of the Roman Empire's Europe, which included Britain then, just as the EU at the present time includes Britain once again.
There was no less the follow-on for another European nation, this time not France but Germany, with its Hitler, who fared just as badly in his Russian invasion as had Napoleon had done, leading on to a new version of unity in the Common Market and the EU itself with its ramifying institutions, Parliament and increasing sense of an overall unity.
Thus as we land ourselves in the E.U., we see both great strength and remarkable weakness. But that 4th Empire, partly strong, partly weak, it continued, in one form and format or another, like sand on the shore: it moves here and there, in the storms, but it is still there.
THE CASE OF BRITAIN
The case of Britain is of an unusual significance and interest. Was The British Empire really one of the bestial figures, or similar in kind ? Could this at least formally Christian country of that day, before World War I, when the sun seemed reluctant to set on its domains, so widespread were they, an exception to the rule of Europe, or a part of it ? After all, Britain WAS part of the Roman Empire, even if in the days of its fall, Rome withdrew troops.
Were not the French, the Dutch, the German, the Italian imperial territories examples of 4th Empire exploitations, or at least excursions, tantamount to its very nature ? from Europe, one and all of these ? What a grasp Europe and its prongs and invasions, captures and coherences have had!
In the case of the British Empire then, there is the imperial aspect; and as in the opium war in China, it was anything but Christian in many a feature. On the other hand, there were Protestant missionary works, and Protestants, Christians of no mean sanctity to be found liberally in it, mellowing the mastery and both within and without, applying Christian principles: whether of compassion as with Wilberforce and Shaftesbury, among the aristocracy, moving against slavery in name or in industry in effect, or against oppression of the young, by assisting the spread of education as with Elizabeth Fry for example, just as order and responsibility were sought in some of the imperial soldiers and officials abroad.
Thus, in one sense, it was very diversified from the normal bestial empire (to use the figure in Daniel 7, for empire). In another, it could utilise power and adopt wealth from its extensions, with no great regard, though far removed from being a community of mere exploiters. Obviously, in Britain, there were very diverse dynamics, powers and forces moving this way and that, not only within the Church, which was wrongly State-involved, but also in the government and in the hearts and minds of many leaders.
In the end, however, one finds that it WAS a part of the original Roman European Empire, was an extension of it like the German, the Italian, the Portuguese, the Spanish and the Dutch, outdoing all in its grasp; but that it was also unique. The 'clay' of the feet in Daniel 2's statue, was here far more prominent than usual. If from an imperial perspective, it might at times be called weak, in Christian terms, with at least some degree of meekness, in that it was not so grinding, so that there was more scope for hope, yet this was by no means entirely dominant. Such things as Britain great Balfour Declaration of 1917, granting a hegemony, indeed a homeland to Jews in Palestine, were smashed just a few years later, after the World War I ended, when Jordan for all that gift of Palestine as a homeland to the Jews, with certain jurisdictive powers*1A, was given some two thirds of it. Indeed, and further, the British even used their navy to STOP returning Jews after Hitler's devilries with them! Was it for this that their prayers for deliverance at Dunkirk were answered! Was this the very pitch of compassion ? and was there here to be found a grace which distinguished the empire from the rest ?
Oil was one stated reason for Britain's great care of the enemies of Israel, despite its earlier undertaking! This is exposed in Beauty for Ashes Ch. 1 as follows (slightly revised for this purpose). There reference is made to
that secret document from British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, which as reported in the Age Magazine, August 20, 1988 (pp. 16-21), in the post-World War II turmoil, showed the frank desire to placate Arabs, equipped as they were, with oil. Bevin had evidently passionately pursued the line that centres of oil production MUST be available. There was, it is reported, found to be grave risk in alienating Arabs "by appearing to ... endorse the Jewish aspiration for a separate State." How does oil spread softness on the paths of war, and incline the heart to greed rather than goodness, when there is no restraint! It is a world in which restraint in 'national interests' seems increasingly if not obsolete, then all but antique.
The crucial defect was this, that although Britain had Church and Government and interested and passionate Christians in its midst, who at times did great things in missions and ministering to those who had need (notable is George Muller in his evangelical Orphanages, along with the industrial, educative and slavery missions of others), the Church was too harassed by being involved with the Government as the national Church. It even had GOVERNMENT law relating to it, and its functioning. The Scots had very rightly resisted that, though not always in the right way. It was indeed crucial and not to be borne, that English bishops should be appointed from a Church which was itself in that mode of subjection to the government. This could not be supported in Scottish Churches, or any other ones. Force, however, was not the method, and many were the covenanters who were simply butts of brutal British force.
The crucial virtue was the spiritual and assiduous works of Christians in influencing government, putting into the hearts of many, thoughts of moderation, goodwill and good hope, where otherwise an complete engulfing with force and pomp, ambition and power might have been more obvious. For all that, the distemper of a worldly dynamic could course freely enough as in the disastrous opium war in China, when FORCE was used to bring evil to the people of that land! In a further sense, the British Empire assisted in providing indirectly a stability for missionaries, though not always. This is illustrated when, not entirely unexpectedly, the Boxer Rebellion arose in China, a time of frenzied forces, some popular, some populist (in the area 1898-1901).
At length, even an Empress Dowager, Cixi, pursued the quarry, which included missionaries, and did so with what appeared a persistent fury! There were many contributory forces. Thus, Christian activity was now resisted with the normal resentment of the devil, the opium follies erupted on the commercial hand that pushed them, understandably rousing ire, while the dislike of undue seeming foreign action in the land brought foreigner dislike, and so on. Some missionaries were slain. A fascinating book exposes the situation intimately. It is Archibald Glover's A thousand miles of miracle in China : a personal record of God's delivering power from the hands of the imperial Boxers of Shan-si The varied reactions, some of the Chinese nobly trying to help, others - as the escaping missionaries were travelling - seeking to chop them up, mow them down, embarrass, harass, made a motley patchwork, where terror was rarely distant, as children were taken with adults. Even though they were leaving, the wounds received, the healings and the helpings from some of goodwill, some once before helped by them, all contributed to a human drama in a divine setting which brings much understanding to those who consider it.
Certainly, the British Empire ex-Rome in its Government had a certain degree of independence from the normal bestial flavour of imperialism; and the British Church, which had many evangelical and spiritual elements mixed within it, infused imperialism with a better light and kinder disposition; but in the end, the Empire was an application of the 4th Empire, despite its better elements, and the mere fact that World War I had to be fought showed too well, the entanglements of worldly pomp and diplomacy, however much the Kaiser asked for what he got.
Our interest here is the application of the prophecy of Daniel, and to see in how many very different ways the 4th Empire of Daniel, the European one has in fact continued, with how much variability, with such a spread of contrary and sometimes even contradictory forces, none annulling it. With enemies within, without, with Islam, with nationalities vying, yet it proceeded without stopping. If at times it was almost like a punch-drunk boxer, yet it went on; if rebuilt not least by the power and aid of the USA after World War II, yet it functioned, it grew, it became a world union of perhaps half one billion people. The dominions of Europe, whether via Spain in assaulting Incas and Aztecs in the Americas, or Portugal, or France in Africa, or Germany, or Britain, have been vast and unparalleled, sustained in variation, continued in thrust, moving into a united whole, out of it, back into it, until now it is back indeed, in the European Union.
Now its very name becomes like a stab to
the sleeping! For several years, moreover, as in Revelation , it had 10 members,
and then it became a Western cluster who continued that role, the Western
European Union*1B (cf. Daniel 7 and Revelation 13
and see SMR pp. 957-958).
THE MESSIANIC AND THE IMPERIAL
Thus like Israel, this 4th Empire refuses to go away, for in both cases, God has declared differently; and history, ever concordant with the biblically revealed will of God, acts differently. In this only they always agree, that if God lays down a datum, history reproduces it (cf. the principle in Joel 2:11, Isaiah 44:24-45:10). That is the nature of the word of God, of the CEO of the universe, of the Creator of it: His word rules. He rules to have freedom, and in its appointed limitations, this freedom granted man lifts its head like a tiger, a camel, a donkey, dependent on the case; but it lifts it often enough in enraged derogation of the deity, for here is a liberty provided in the wonder of love, which in its integrity requires freedom. This in headiness may opt instead to become berserk; or otherwise disposed, it may not!
Liberty is no barrier to the knowledge of God. This is part of His magnificence, that though He knows, He elects to give a substantial scope to liberty, not engineering its ruin for His own ease, but its outcomes in their impacts, granted their nature, for the instruction of wisdom, and the testimony to this world. Nothing just happens before God; but He CAN let things happen in various ways, dimensions and dynamics, the better to show the nature of things, and to help some to come to a repentance which He Himself grants in His grace: not on the basis of whim, but wisdom as He knows the heart, past all happenings, in its entirety. Nothing dupes Him, who would have all to be saved, but does NOT use even INFINITE power to secure it: having integrity in His love.
How great then is the significance of these European developments, whether in arithmetic or in continuity, or in quality, or in scope themselves uncalled but vocal testimonies to the word of God.
What then ? The very name, The Treaty of Rome, which has led on to the post-war consolidation of Europe, first as the Common Market, then with asides such as the International Court of Justice, varied commercial enterprises, the European Parliament and movements towards elements of European Foreign Policy, defence and opinion, has an historic ring for this 4th Empire, starting with Rome which has given to it its territorial character; while its current unity picks up at the end, or near it, the essence of the beginning. As to policy, it is moving towards Israel, in anything but a friendly and supportive manner, just as did the Inquisition under Rome to the Jews many of whom it subjected to ghastly humiliation, anguish and agony (cf. Hosmer's The Story of the Jews).
There was ill-savour enough; and under the new name, the European Union (which has a rather salient reminder of another and very different EU, in the universities, the Evangelical Union), it speaks its mind clearly. Moreover it is even a MEMBER of the notorious Madrid Quartet, which if it is not engaged in drawing and quartering Israel this time, yet seeks its diminution in historical continuity, land and power. There is a certain continuity even in this policy, that to the Jew, to Israel, in Europe now. Hitler was a flash; but the dark luminescence continues.
Rome, in the increasing light from Revelation 17, in its aspect as a religious base, is to lose its distinctiveness. Its empire will then show its fragility side, in losing what came at times close to being its International, European Church, a point a recent pope was interested to stress: Romanism, the European religion! It is not so; but it has come close to it, at one time, that of , there even long ago, in 1458, there was talk from George of Podebrady, elected to the Bohemian throne. who attempted to set up a pan-European "Christian League". This would form all the states of Europe into a community based on religion. So has the continuity, the aspiration, the consolidation, the disruption, the aggregation, the dispersal proceeded; and the whole has continued, now moving towards its fulfilment, as at the first, yet with a more international role, in a more correlated world.
The 4th empire has developed, moved into, out of, through its own kind of religion, which is chosen and used for its own imperial purposes, at the beast level, whatever the clay may say, from time to time, or the minds of those outside its ruinous power, opine, believe or propagate. As Revelation 13 predicted, now the development moves inexorably on. Increasingly, off goes Romanism, the increasingly unrecognised harlot*2 of Revelation 13, and on comes the entente of the European powers in view, to have their day, with no restraint at all from the past, as they move forward to their doom.
Already, the affair of the European Constitution has shown the sure direction of the slide from Romanism, which now tends to be viewed like the religion of the Roman Empire, or the Greek philosophic past, as one of those things which happened. Refusal to put reference to Romanism in the Constitution has been quite marked*2A. As shown in His Wounds Opened Eternity, Ch. 3, there is now just that banality and vagueness, that unity amid obscurity that makes such scope for the introduction of vast vulnerability to any wicked thing! If to MOVE FORWARD, whether in Australia or Europe, is the point, the direction remains wholly unknown amid the often truculent, militant, vying and sometimes vicious forces at work. It is launching into the deep or the shallows, but into the unknown.
In this Ch. 3, just cited above, accordingly, we find this:
The human race is a RACE! This is often forgotten, but just as man hates a special race becoming the cynosure and paragon, as if childish pride prevented it from seeing its place, a function of the folly of arrogance on the part of those who make such claims or imply them: so mankind seems increasingly to hate being thought of as a race, a mere particle of invented reality, all one, all answerable, all of a type, all with a bond and KIND stamped on them.
To be sure, they do not mind it in some way biologically, but not actually, in themselves; this thought about their being lacks appeal for the many. They like to think that whatever their past, which is quite indefensible except as from God's creative hand*1, their future at least is ONLY THEIR OWN! Great and unbounded, it is the current malaise, they like to see their future as they dash in pieces the means!
When ONE race, such as Japan or Germany gets such ideas, in part or in whole, then the world is up in arms, literally! It crushes the concept. When the HUMAN RACE, however, gets such ideas about itself as one whole, and this is precisely what is happening, albeit the language has its own modes and modules, then this is very much to their taste and they love it, forward it, spend billions on it and fascinated, foster it.
This, the ULTIMATE RACISM is as doomed as any other. It is as implacable as any other. Its future is as assured as any other, since it is the acme of presumption, the paragon of delusion and the finest hour of folly! It seeks to grab from the shadows of insignificance (which their models normally give as their base and basis) a profound and insuppressible significance which, being impossible when all they signify is lost in significance through a model which tolerates none, since it has none, is mere verbal play and ostentation.
After all, if nothing*2 made things that chance could use, and chance made things that intellect could fashion, and intellect made spirit and spirit made will that could choose to fashion them, why not simply explode it all into existence at once... oh, and while you are at it, invent intellect, spirit and things, the bits just assumed above. Oh! and while you are at it, have some being, power, organising potentate able to do this, and have this Being there all the time, since otherwise there is nowhere to come from, and so let things visible and invisible come from a source competent, since causeless*3 phenomena are properly called myth. As we see so often in our history on this planet, tiny as it comparatively is, yet so grand for our lives: myths make mayhem in the end. Reality obtrudes!
Human racism is more painful than any other kind, since it is not only arrogantly self-absorbed, but causatively incoherent. Hence this world's effort to call Zionism 'racism'*4 reveals its own proclivity, NOT to call its own humanistic, mystic secularism racism: human racism! It is so absorbed, it seems, in its own brand of racism, that it confuses a particular nation's desire for a home with some other brand, and so in a UN setting came very near to branding Israel. The pot loves to call the kettle black, since presumably, it makes it feel better about its own dirt, and blackness.
Expansive racism however is just what is coming more and more swiftly from the global authorities: an inane, dogmatic, determined, unfounded, bounded, foundering futility in loving itself above all and first, and acting like it. This is riotous human racism. It must be remembered, that whatever errors Israel has made, at least in its inception the whole point was loving GOD above itself and all; and the Creator is not made by those whom He makes, and without whom they would not be (cf. *1 - *4 below).
Such is the trend, and naturally enough in a world where the donated organising ability in man is not slight, such follies are increasingly institutionalised.
EUROPE IS IN TRAINING FOR THE JAUNT
The UN is becoming (cf. Mystery of Iniquity, Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 13), with the EU, a force for religious amorality and loss of liberty. It is shaping up much more to the format predicted for its final foray.
As News Weekly reports (July 3, 2004), the UK Independence Party points out that the European law tends to be significantly less in favour of individual liberty than group liberty, much less tolerant of racial or religious minorities than is the case in Britain. The latter, with its Protestant heritage *5 , has been amazingly clear on individual liberty; but it is in danger of being sunk in the collective market for secular society in the EU, which unlike Britain, refuses any reference to God, and has rights without a divine source, so making man king in unchartered waters which he neither made nor understands.
The European Union, News Weekly advises, has member states already sharing cause with such 'liberties' (and corresponding individual losses) as euthanasia, human embryo experimentation, gay marriage, arrest without trial, abortion. It “lacks any basis in Christianity or religion,” it notes. Thus, with secular bases for the EU (it vaguely refers generally to past inputs, and declares its mere will with its own mouth), devastating consequences may be envisaged, as this brakeless and religiously amoral vehicle*5 imposes its will, running as it will.
Even in Canada, it is already against the law even to cite scripture publicly against homosexuality! Britain’s glorious role for liberty and opportunity is thus being sunk ready for the “man of sin” of II Thessalonians 2.
While both the UN*5 and the EU seem almost to be vying for secularity and urbanity, yet the EU is moving fast to the forefront with its specific fighting about religion, its acknowledged rebuffs to its past, its sinking of reality for prosperity and its awareness of what it is doing. Moslems must not be offended; history can forget it. This seems to be the aura, atmosphere and thrust of the place.
You cannot move, murmur or aver, you cannot talk of any SPECIFIC input lest history offend geography, and geography erupt. Especially is this so when it is erupting already, and may decide to join forces with its outposts in Islamic terror. After all, Spain changes rather quickly from being notoriously gifted in seeking to free Iraq, to what has every appearance of another story. So Europe is most tender to the Islamic advent, which it rebuffed once before by force, at the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D..
The great achievement of Europe so far, for which concessions to Britain about industrial and similar matters is well worth while from the point of view of takeover, is that the Protestant, the distinct, the individuality-loving, the freedom-fondling Britain is being subverted into the scrum, wrestling on the dirt with others of like caking, far from the liberties for which it is justly so famous. These, if reluctantly, it now seems to be returning to a Europe which, having failed in the Spanish Armada, now has 'other ways'.
To be sure, the pope is not doing too well, his desires for 'Christian' acknowledgement in the constitution being so far wholly disdained; yet to get the Brit into the writ, to make it conform to the HUMAN RACE, EURO VERSION, this is a great 'achievement', comparable to the Great Depression of 1929.
It is not sudden, since Britain has been playing and braying about Europe, in or out, for a long time; but its result is being DEFINED! Whether it be a Contract or a Constitution, you had better be aware of what you are doing! You can get out ? After a while, when adjudication is considered, and no doubt the cost of the whole thing, and in the face of internal opposition, and power groups and benefiting groups and the like, and with economic consequences ... formally, exit is possible.
But is it practical ? After all, it seems that practicalities in the very FACE OF principles have driven Britain IN! If it was dubious in configuration, gravely and correctly concerned about the values back of joining the Common Market with its development in the EU, what would it be like to remove itself at some future date, with penalties of rupture both political, financial and commercial!
Already the horrible immorality of a secular Europe has grieved Britain. Notable not so long ago was a painful EU intrusion, into its the British Army, of concepts so vulgar and detestable, in terms of that Book, the Bible, which the British Sovereign undertakes to honour, that it is almost inconceivable that such national duplicity could happen. Doubtless this would be out of the question, 50 years ago!*6 Britain would be allowed then to have its own moral standards for men in the Army, and not have found dictation from abroad, contrary to its Bible, to the point. Yet this new fever and passion mounts, and Britain is part of it.
What of the members of this EU ?
Now they are to draw "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe" - as the current Constitution draft has it - so that whatever this infinity-zero blend means (God or man as bases), it is certainly nothing to do with the actual God, a defined or distinct God, or indeed, with God at all in his role as Creator and King. He can take His place, no, not in a pantheon, on consideration, rather not, but in the Hall of Fame where gods and kings and wings and things have their archeologically interesting sites to fill. Such is the apparent secular and cultural glide involved.
Secular or spiritual, in the EU Constitution now on appro, it is all one.
This being so, we see that the participating European nations, which swell in number now and mount, are called upon, in the Preamble, to "transcend their ancient divisions and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny". If indeed it incorporates a Bill of Rights (drawn up in Nice, in 2000), this as always in such cases, means that there is no claim to the contrary, and internal definitions define and delimit what you get.
Thus 'freedom of religion' can mean freedom for innovators, such as sexual homology advocates, so that their position shall be as free from criticism as it probably was in Sodom; and this, not only in person, but in program, word or statement. It can mean that you cannot move to the contrary without being called divisive, and that standards hence cease to exist in a society which puts gods and non-gods into the same destined basket, woven in human fancy, vainly and delusively fabricated from feeble rush.
What could be clearer than this sonorous language, "united ever more closely" for a "common destiny" than junking the past particularities, of whom doubtless, Christ is the chief. It is THEMSELVES who matter, not gods or history, whether in the creation or out of it, and they figure by some mythical magic which donates law, life and its exquisite and incomparable design (cf. SMR pp. 211ff.), from nothing at all, really.
Here is the making of that plush potency which yields the lush lord who is the "man of sin" who despises all that may be called God, in his own interests, showing himself that he is God! ( Thessalonians 2:4). That is the way it is predicted to be, and history rushes as if it were late for the train, to fulfil all these specifications in the predicted site, Europe.
End of Excerpt
In accord with this irreligious religiosity, Europe has been involved as one part of the Madrid Quartet, which is interested in gaining more of the miniscule Palestinian rump, with which Israel is left, and that after gaining it at war and returning much that it had gained, in peace. In this way, Europe is moving against the declarations of God in the Bible (cf. SMR Appendix A, Galloping Events Ch. 4), and this development is a very apt one, if your concern is anything to do with the Danielic beasts, in this case, the 4th and final one. It is moving toward that irreligion which, given the nature and aspirations, origin and history of man, will take him towards some substitute oddity, if he does not take his God as He is. He is moving toward that antagonism to one of the criteria of test, Israel which, despite its rebellion not as a nation, yet healed, is one of the foci of divine grace in the end, and His is the will to protect it *7. In all this, the confrontation looms the more.
To this conglomerate, this Europe, there is thus added, as another part of the chorusing quartet, the USA, now so increasingly militant towards Israel and its land, following the arrival of Obama, who has called the Koran a holy book, though it is as shown, one of great interest for force in the realm of religion*3, at the physical rather than the logical level! In this way, the USA is now more closely aligning its chimings with those of Big Ben and associated national tollings in Europe. With Russia yet another of the bruising four, there is even scope for the Ezekiel 38-39 developments. The pot is hot; the stew is poisoned; the militant world is hungry.
These desperado grandeurs in the Quartet, taking over the reins from God if they can, are a precursor, amid the European Constitution activities, of the ultimate bent of anti-God forces.
In the end, the beast (Revelation 17, 19) can never long stand to be too close to Christ, and the declared will of God as shown in the Book, the Bible which He endorsed so utterly in Christ; and thus Israel cannot long receive any favour from that 4th Empire conglomerate, which indeed in so many European nations has so persecuted both Jews and the Church, in pogrom and inquisition, in times past. When light arises, as half a millenium ago, it did in so much of the Reformation, first there is war, and then there is a diversity, but while faith lights brilliantly in some for a time, then in the 4th Empire, there is a decline, and an alternative in the constitutional concept of the EU moving forwards together, to whatever.
With this, there is the equally predicted closing of Romanism in Europe as its national fantasy, with various other pollutions impelling *4, while Europe wishes to go even further than that. In thisd formulation, forging, consultation and processing from former things to those coming in and for Europe, there is the possibility of a transition from degrees of unity past, through association and habituation, to that to come. With Rome's increasing interest in more and more synthesis with other religions, in its parades at least, there is the image of coming consensus, moving through such a cultural background of uniting blight, marvellously useful tool for an imperial take-over, to a studied art of the New Look, this whether willingly or otherwise.
It is to be very clear to anyone studying what is biblically and therefore factually to be, that a in Revelation 17, there will be a politicisation of religion, a demotion of Romanism as a religion, a use of prime force in its pursuit, a coverage of all financial dealings in its purvey, and a ruthlessness in the application of this force and rule: the IMPERIAL will snarl and grab in the usual, straightforward manner, as did Hitler and Stalin, who have given what seems an excellent preview, for those whose imagination is stultified by hope, or paralysed by fear.
Islam has used force clearly enough in taking over much in the Middle East, in Africa, in Europe, though rebuffed before it got too far; and while at times things have been more peaceful, the MEANS OF ACQUISITION of all this territory have not been so, nor does the Koran so speak as if they should be*3. The Crusades in relation to the papacy and any church endorsement were of course a mistake, since Christ Himself sought no protection from force, and enunciated the no-force principle for His people as such, and for Peter in particular; nor were these forceful military efforts particularly successful, though they had their moments. It was a mistake to move to the degradations which Islam showed in this area, on the part of any Church body, for the simple reason that Christ forbad such means to His Church, and characterised His principles not only differently, but antithetically. In principle and practice alike, consolidated force was out of the question for His Church. Islam however has been kept in its bounds as one of the false prophet-syndrome, while Europe has continued its course to its final image.
Judgment may have much force; but the presentation and preservation of His Church, of the Gospel, of His grace, must have nothing whatever to do with it. This we have seen not a little in looking at Pilate in Ch. 4 above. John 18:36-37, Matthew 26:52-56, all speak the same language, whether for practice or precept, action or principle. Christ in His Gospel domain in this Church Age, has outlawed physical force as an associate of His Church. The combat is spiritual (Ephesians 6); for it is an age of grace, in which HE DID NOT COME to judge, but to save the world, and this out of love, out of His own mouth! To be sure, judgment will follow, but after so long a time, a delay both foreseen and mediating mercy (as in II Peter 3:8-9).
If a nation, a political unit (without a national, politicised church, since the nation is not conceived as residents of the kingdom of heaven, but of a state and within its boundaries - that is why Christian socialism is a contradiction in terms) wishes to deliver its people, that is a national matter; not a Church one. The nation as such does not normally make claims to be a church as defined in the New Testament, however much it may be imbued with traditional Christian principles. Nations are simply part of this world in political aggregations, and we told not to pray for this world: not even Christ did that, and that too, it was a matter of principle (John 17:9).
To be sure, you can pray for your nation in its spiritual well-being and the need for mercy, grace and goodness to enter it (I Timothy 2); but it is not the object for conversion, not a spiritual entity, its domain is not coincident with that of the Gospel in its internal operations. This entire world, in its overall international being, is NOT to be prayed for, because its prince has nothing to do with Jesus Christ (John 14:30), by his very nature, and because its end is sure (cf. Revelation 11:15). In fact, the kingdoms of this world, in the millenium, will indeed become the territory of another Ruler (cf. Isaiah 11, Micah 4, Psalm 72, 110, 2, Revelation 11:15, 20:1ff.) whose kingdom will not pass away; but this WORLD WILL PASS AWAY, yes the entire entity (Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3). It is not to be prayed for; it is scaffolding. The building is a different matter.
Thus while a Church might exhort a nation for righteousness, since righteousness is not only godly but exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34), its domain is different, the rules differ, and the persons in both, differ. This, the Christian Church, is a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a special people (I Peter 2:9), made up in its active form of living stones configured together, for inhabitation by the Lord by His Spirit. Its rules are from His lips, and are far above anything any nation can contrive, since they apply only to volunteers (Psalm 110), who though foreknown and predestinated, are yet all the more, for that very reason, exhibiting a freedom which at last, only God can both know and give!*5
The beast in its 4th Empire form, then, ultimately divests itself openly of this world's pernicious*4
version of Christianity, Romanism, as shown in SMR pp. 911ff., 1032-1088H, a religion no stranger to force itself (Ancient Words... Ch. 14), even at the religious level; while its mystic humanism now arising and aroused in intensity, its own new religion, complete with false prophet (Revelation 16, 19) gives itself unqualified desire and free rein to reign religiously as well as politically. You see something of this lust even in Australia, where in some news broadcasts with academic notables in view, you can almost see them salivating as they try, just like the USSR in its day and China now, to make it 'in the national interest' to rule religion, one program in haste citing selected scholars in religion to endorse the witch-hunt for a 'too successful' different sort of society, which would be utterly unacceptable. How the wheel turns, and the weal, even in prospect, burns. So even now do they talk in their own logically impossible bases (cf. Barbs 6 -7, Deity and Design ... 8), hallowing the name of their own game, forgetful of reality, determining what it is without a model even permitting its knowable presence, far less actuality. They proclaim what they cannot name, and so they proceed, like the rest, disquieted without rest, harbingders of things to come.
This dynamic will move, seeking to dominate all visible churches as in Revelation 13, 17. To do this, as for so long in some States in Australia, they will make some religious approaches acceptable (the servile ones, willing to drink at the State's fountain), and some not. After that, the move will evidently be to make the unacceptable ones, 'restricted' to use a present term for net filtering, in access, and the others to become more and more surrendered to orders from on high, that is to say, the State, which accordingly runs along the earlier lines of the Roman Empire, that the Emperor had to worshipped, which for that matter, were just the same lines as those of Nebuchadnezzar as shown with his statue for worship, in the Book of Daniel. Thus satellite areas are so willingly moving in the stream of FORWARD, to their great backwardness, unaware in their spiritual blindness, that they are running in reverse, and have become mixed on directions.
So does this 4th Empire move to its evil destiny, before it is abruptly halted by God, who meets its director directly (II Thessalonians 2), with judgment of its squalid and spiritually sordid enterprises, which had stridently been seeking to subdue the entire earth. Always, the coming evil mind may muse, there is some other nation which interrupts the hegemony sought, whether by Japan, Germany, Spain, Russia or whomever. Ambition is thus frustrated.
What then does it muse ? It is perhaps like this: We need is to get the whole earth, the 'international community' on side, even if this is a term that contradicts its referent, under such a hand, and then we might have it all: one universe in hand! Surely, the evil entrepreneur may muse, this much power is worth fighting for!
Certainly, the devil has always thought so, since he became what he is through that divine prodigy of power, known as liberty.
As seen already, the Bible speaks freely and often on the modes of this disassemblage of so much arrogance with so much progress, hoping for the ousting of God (cf. Revelation 12:7ff., 19:19).
Now, however, with the coming of the King with His saints (I Thessalonians 3:13, Zechariah 15:5, Jude), hypocrisy and the hallowing of self, having had their head for a time, toss it so arrogantly no more. Though the current European trend is towards no religion, yet when power comes, the means of replacing God become implacable, so that the religion is put as so often before, in the Empire itself and then in a man, the man of sin (II Thessalonians 2). This is the very acme of irreligious religiosity, the very sanctum of sin. So do we see the progression towards the explosive divine confrontation to come, as in Daniel 2 and 7, Isaiah 65, Micah 7, II Thessalonians 1 (cf. The Moon Soon Ch. 20 - with 19).
For how long does this forceful fiasco rule ? How long will its blatancy last ? its strident dictatorship endure ?
The three and one half of Daniel 7, in view of the treatment of this phrasing in Revelatlon, cannot be quantified. Professor J. Barton Payne (Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy) is very right about this. In fact, this figure, three and one half or 42 months or 1260 days with slight extension available, can be used to mean the entire Gentile era, this Church Age (Revelation 11) or various other inhabitants of the evil regime actions (Revelation 13:5), in a book given to much imagery. In view, however, of the little horn I and II seen in Daniel 8 and 7 (cf. Tender, True), and his time in Daniel 8, it is apparent, as also from the very nature of the oppression, that the time is short. Further indication comes from the first half of the last 'seven' of Daniel 9:24-27, as shown, referring to Christ's own ministry*6, one of that very period, which now the antichrist may seek to mimic, though it would be with as much likeness as has fungus with pure streams from the snow.
In fact, in the height of it, when it is fully operational, the kingly components which are to rule are referred to as having "one hour as kings with the beast," Revelation 17:12. As with the time for the destruction of the Roman religious body in its site, which also was to be and will be ruined in one hour (Revelation 18:10), the period is short. The manner of it all has been long; the removal is short; as indeed, is also the case with the ferocity of the end of this world as shown in II Peter 3. It is rather like a finishing line: long may be the miles of cross country racing, but when you come to the line, the time is short!
How long does history in its present format go on ? How long does this Age last ? Many pointers have been considered and they are clear, in this, that the end is near (Answers to Questions Ch. 5), and this from that same word of God which forbids our imagining that we know precisely when (Luke 21, Acts 1), it will be. In principle, we know that not only will it be soon, but that there are qualities which are in view, which help to determine before the Lord, the time for it.\
How long ? It is not so soon*8 as to remove the challenge (Revelation 12), or blight the godly opportunity (II Peter 3:9), or interrupt the divine arrangement of all things (Revelation 6:7ff.), nor is it, in the final strait straight, so long as to make the test so utter as to meaningless (cf. Revelation 13:10,14, 17:8, Matthew 24:22); nor yet is the time to be so late as to make the stringency too great, before the saints are taken.
When however at last, they are removed (Matthew 24:36-51, I Thessalonians 4, Revelation 11) to heaven, they will leaving the earth now without solace, to heave in its own vacuous child-birth, minus the child, a matter of wind and words, pompous oratory meaning nothing (cf. Daniel 7:8). This non-self-sacrificial remnant, this joke of a regality, addressing itself as god in its leader, remains till he is destroyed with the brightness of Christ's coming (II Thessalonians 1-2). This, it is as devastating to evil, as was the atomic bomb to Nagasaki. One uses this rather than Hiroshima, because the latter was a warning, that was not heeded in time; the latter therefore in that sense, carried the greater judgment, as will a world which still will not heed.
Just so now: many indeed have been warned, and continuing constantly in blindness, invite the coming chasmic judgment as this were the aftermath of the explosion; but alas for the chronic rebel, willingly subject to the manifesto of evil, to the mark of the beast (Revelation 13), the devastation and the depth are one and the same in the scope of the judgment, which is according to truth (Romans 2:1ff.).
At length, as in Daniel 7's closing verses, from all nations, yes from all peoples and languages many come to receive the dominion of the Lamb, of Jesus Christ, one with His Father, and this in an everlasting kingdom, one essentialised indeed in the resurrection of the bodies of the saints who become it sole participants (Daniel 12:1ff.). In Revelation you see the waters of the river of life, in the normal signification mode, water moving freely, for the Holy Spirit, whose appeal is still noted as late in the last book of the Bible, as Revelation 22:17.
So is there a gathering of one and of the other, of those willing and unwilling, rendered and not surrendered; but it is not in the same region, for their lives are not in the same spirit; and God IS a Spirit.
In the parable of Jesus the Christ, the collection of the saints, that is of the whole people of God (Romans 12:1ff., 1:7, Ephesians 1:1), was likened to the gathering of wheat; but what of the chaff ? (cf. Matthew 13:30 cf. 3:12, with Mark 9). The chaff and the chatter (II Peter 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 13), these recede, blown quite away to their place. Their lies are lost in their own smoke, and the everlasting light of God shines upon His people (Revelation 21-22), with the Lamb subject of eternal praise (Revelation 5), the unchanging God (Hebrews 13:8, John 8:58); and with His Father, He is the very Temple of worship (Revelation 21:22). So is the Lord in grace and love presiding over those changed to be in accord with truth in their minds and hearts and living, having loved His appearance (II Timothy 4:8). At last, freedom and grace have their joint and mutual repository in love, the love of God its eternal source, its strength and its contour.
On these empires, see Daniel 2, 7, 8, 9 and Highway of Holiness Chs. 4 and 8, together with SMR pp. 886ff..
See Divine Agenda Ch. 8.
The references are given in the text. See also http://www.ena.lu/
From 1954 to 2010 the map shows us a group of ten nations: Britain, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg, Holland and Belgium, Spain and Italy, Greece and Germany, which can act as something of a bulwark against excessive dilution. With Turkey aiming for entry, this becomes the more significant.
See SMR pp. 946ff., 729ff..
See for example, Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 5.
See for example, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, and Ch. 2, *1 above.
See Chapter 2, *1. See also Matthew 24:24.
See Possess Your Possessions Vol. I,
See Possess Your Possessions Vol.
4, 2, 3,
For this aspect, see Possess Your Possessions Vol. 3, Ch. 8 with Vol. 2 Ch. 4.
In Psalm 90 as in II Peter 3:9, you see that so grand is the patience, forbearance and consideration of God towards man, that He can endure with fortitude and longsuffering much for long, a thousand years as a day; though it is not for ever, for the spirit of man would fail before Him (Isaiah 57:15ff.), he being a creation of the Eternal God.
On the other hand, when it comes to His own unfettered grandeur in creation, where His is the only personal Being involved, and it is pure creation by fiat, there is no limit to His speed, so that the evening and the morning become the song of power, the attestation of His majesty and the portrayal of the text, which merges, a seamless robe, into the dealings of man in his own history, all terms defined in one composition, consistently. Praise God for BOTH His power AND His longsuffering!