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The Apocalypse Journals: Volume I – Pete Garcia - 2 weeks 6 days ago #146

How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!
Lamentations 1:1
The thought of ghost towns has been on my mind as of late. Not so much the dilapidated wooden remnants of the old gold and silver prospecting communities scattered about the old American West, but the abandoned cities in the central and eastern United States. Some of these were abandoned when the local steel or paper mill closed down. Others were closed due to some type of pollution or environmental condition making living there unsafe. Whatever the cause, the sight of them left unkempt, and given back over to nature, has always been a source of both fascination and unsettlement to me.
I suppose what makes them both simultaneously, is seeing them as a consequential outcropping of both a natural consequence and divine judgment. They are a microcosm of an empire under the judgment of the wrath of abandonment (Romans 1). Like death from a thousand cuts, we collectively become a problem too large to fix, and thus, are discarded altogether. These abandoned places also remind us of our own society's impermanence.
On a larger scale, you would think, given the reality that the world is littered with the remains of once-great (and some not-so-great) civilizations, the sight of these would be as commonplace as the remains of dead animals on the road, or fallen trees in the forest. But they're not. They are grown over by nature or remain off the beaten path, bypassed by newer roads. They remain disturbing because they also remind us not just of our own impermanence as a society, but as a species. We are, after all, mortal, finite beings, living in a finite world. Everything we have ever known has had an expiration date. If anything, change is the only constant we have ever known.
But it's more than that, isn’t it?
I mean, we have the luxury today of looking back through time and seeing all the empires that have come and gone. We feebly attempt to comprehend their existence from a historical-academic perspective, but we can't really know what it was like until it happens to us. What I mean to say is, the end of those civilizations, were not just some adventure in academia. Civilizations end all the time, and their endings, both past, and present were horrifically endured by someone. It wasn't academic for them; it was real life.
Consequences and Neglect
As part of my professional reading curriculum for the military, I was given the book, Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield some years ago. It was this book that was later made into the blockbuster movie 300 some years later. The story is about the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans making their last stand against the overwhelming hordes of the Persian King Xerxes at the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC. While the story is a historically factual book, it is retold in fictional format, making it a “faction” of sorts. The entirety of the story was told by Xeones, who was a captured Greek soldier now serving in Xerxes's court. The most provoking story within this book that impacted me the most was not the famous battle at the 'Hot Gates' (as they were called), but when Xeones' town was sacked. Here was his chilling retelling of that event to King Xerxes.
His Majesty has presided over the sack of numberless cities and has no need to hear recounted the details of the week that followed. I will append the observation only, from the horror-benumbed apprehension of a boy shorn at one blow of mother and father, family, clan, tribe and city, that this was the first time my eyes had beheld those sights which experience teaches are common to all battles and all slaughters.
This I learned then: there is always fire.
An acrid haze hangs in the air night and day, and sulphurous smoke chokes the nostrils. The sun is the color of ash, and black stones litter the road, smoking. Everywhere one looks, some object is afire. Timber, flesh, the earth itself. Even water burns. The pitilessness of flame reinforces the sensation of the gods’ anger, of fate, retribution, deeds done and hell to pay.
All is the obverse of what it had been.
Things are fallen which had stood upright. Things are free which should be bound, and bound which should be free. Things which had been hoarded in secret now blow and tumble in the open, and those who had hoarded them watch with dull eyes and let them go.
Boys have become men and men boys. Slaves now stand free and freemen slaves. Childhood has fled. The knowledge of my mother and father’s slaughter struck me less with grief for them or fear for myself than with the imperative to assume at once their station. Where had I been on the morn of their murder? I had failed them, trotting off on my boyish errand. Why had I not foreseen their peril? Why was I not standing at my father’s shoulder, armed and possessed of a man’s strength, to defend our hearth or die honorably before it, as he and my mother had?
Bodies lay in the road. Mostly men, but women and children too, with the same dark blot of fluid sinking into the pitiless dirt. The living trod past them, grief-riven. Everyone was filthy. Many had no shoes. All were fleeing the slave columns and the roundup which would be starting soon. Women carried infants, some of them already dead, while other dazed figures glided past like shades, bearing away some pitifully useless possession, a lamp or a volume of verse. In peacetime the wives of the city walked abroad with necklaces, anklets, rings; now one saw none, or it was secreted somewhere to pay a ferryman’s toll or purchase a heel of stale bread. We encountered people we knew and didn’t recognize them. They didn’t recognize us. Numb reunions were held along roadsides or in corpses, and news was traded of the dead and the soon to be dead.
Most piteous of all were the animals. I saw a dog on fire that first morning and ran to snuff his smoking fur with my cloak. He fled, of course; I couldn’t catch him, and Diomache snatched me back with a curse for my foolishness. That dog was the first of many. Horses hamstrung by sword blades, lying on their flanks with their eyes pools of numb horror. Mules with entrails spilling; oxen with javelins in their sides, lowing pitifully yet too terrified to let anyone near to help. These were the most heartbreaking: the poor dumb beasts whose torment was made more pitiful by their lack of faculty to understand it.  - Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire (Chapter 17)
I found this testimony to be not only very sobering but very real. This was not just the result of warfare in the 5th century B.C.; it was common to war of every age. The consequences of war are always the same- death and destruction. Things are burning and the natural order of things is turned on its head. Having seen the results of war up close and personal, I can (as some of you can also attest to) its perpetual ugliness and utter revulsion to all that is good and wholesome. But war, for all its ugliness, is sometimes unavoidable. John Stuart Mill once wrote-
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse."
Although violence has been a mainstay of the human condition since the days of Noah, the first organized and recorded battle is found in Genesis 14. Here, Abraham put together 318 of his finest warriors and went to rescue his nephew Lot. So although ugly, some wars are necessary, which lends credence to Mill's quote of man's unwillingness to fight at any cost, which only invites more aggression.
In this vein, I suppose the next worse thing other than having your civilization ripped from you quickly, is watching your way of life crumble slowly before your eyes. Like watching something left to rot or rust over a period of days, weeks, months, and years. While the rot and rust always come in varying degrees and stages, it always first begins with neglect.
The first victim of neglect is always the nation's moral center. The virtuousness of the moral center almost never comes out of a time of plenty but from the hard times. The hard times are almost always due to calamity, war, or famine. There is a popular, yet fairly accurate meme making the rounds these days that describes the cycle like this:
Hard times create strong men
Strong men create good times
Good times create weak men
Weak men create hard times
The second victim of neglect is a civilization's religious or ideological beliefs. These ground the moral center into a codified system of rights, wrongs, and laws which are created to deal with both. They give the society or civilization meaning or purpose, and when these become neglected (or not attentively shepherded) they become relaxed, then neglected, and lastly, corrupted.
The next victim of neglect is its culture. The culture reflects the moral center and religious beliefs of a nation or kingdom. Who or what does that culture put on a pedestal? The more decadent the culture, the more corrupted both the moral center and its religion become. Decadence always comes in three distinct phases: sexual immorality (hedonism), increased lawlessness, and increased violence.
After this, the next victim is its economic power and prosperity, which begin to reflect the cultural rot and the declining moral priorities of a nation. This is where the wrath of abandonment becomes most visibly felt amongst the varying classes. However, one mainstay is usually the same- the poor get poorer, and the wealthy get wealthier, and the divide causes the latter to ignore or exacerbate the problem by not living in reality.
The last victim is its military might, which at this point, is usually already strained and then that generation of young men are needlessly squandered in some last-ditch war of desperation to save the kingdom. Once that happens, the people, culture, and language disappear, and its once unique way of life is swallowed up by the tattered pages of history.
to be continued.

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The Apocalypse Journals: Volume II – Pete Garcia - 2 weeks 4 days ago #161

Every empire at one point had some beauty and/or uniqueness that made it stand apart from all the rest. At one point in their being, each empire/kingdom/nation had signs of their distinctive existence dotting their landscape and was reflected by the vibrant towns and cities teeming with their people and customs. However, just as with the laws of thermodynamics regarding entropy, every empire returns to the common ground of absolute zero after they are collapsed.
“When we look back through the remnants of the once-great kingdoms, we repeatedly see man’s
attempt to thwart the ravages of time. Great structures, towering to the heavens. Vast expanses of granite columns, ziggurats, and other megalithic structures—mankind’s attempt to live beyond his generation. Ironically, we want those archaic reminders to be set far off, into the distant past, often farther than they really were. We want them to be older because we are instinctively uncomfortable with the sight and rapidity of entropy and urban decay. It reminds us of our own mortality. It reminds us of the raw and unrelenting power of entropy. It reinforces the biblical concept that things will ultimately worsen. It reminds us, that when left to our own devices, we default to wickedness, and things fall apart rather quickly.
Like the abandoned nineteenth-century coal and steel towns that blight this nation’s landscape, these serve as a reminder of the ravages of time and consequence. Abandoned towns, often overgrown with weeds and vines, mold, and decay, present a dystopian picture of something gone amiss. Once-thriving communities now lie hollowed out, haunted, and home to the creeping things. Playgrounds where children once played now sit rusting under an uncaring sky. Crumbling buildings. Streets and sidewalks cracked and weed-ridden. Their neglect serves as a lingering reminder that human civilization is not so far removed from the cold, dark, woods, that once haunted our ancestors. Moreover, it wasn’t so long ago that mankind became so spiritually decayed that God decided to start again.” Pete Garcia, The New Old Ways (Chapter 10)
I wrote the above chapter as a contribution to Terry James’ book, Lawless, in which I describe in more detail the two distinct themes common to human history- the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, and the ruin it causes by recycling said pursuit. When nation's yield to the pursuit of this forbidden knowledge, they do so only by first sacrificing their God-ordained rights to exist.
Once said kingdom buckles, these once-vibrant hubs of humanity, now become wastelands of empty towns, empty streets, and hollowed-out buildings. The built-up places are given back over to nature, where rust and vine reclaim their rightful ownership. Their highways and byways, now devoid of life or movement, yield all right-of-ways back to the creatures of the forest. Where there once were sounds of children and commerce, are now replaced with the lonely sounds of the wild.
You’d think, given the bleakness of this particular topic, it would be about as popular as shingles or the Bubonic plague. However, I don't suppose I'm alone in this particular fascination of societal collapse. Apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian movies, books, and television shows are now so popular, that they have each become their own genres. Given said popularity, I suppose the end of the world has a paradoxical way of both captivating and disturbing most normal people. It reminds me of the famous work of secular literature regarding the temporary and fleeting idea of man's glory and societal collapse; Percy Bysshe Shelley’s (1817) work, Ozymandias.
I met a traveler from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
One would think this fascination would have waned a bit since the onset of the recent dynamic global events of the past couple of years. It would seem the reality of societal collapse is now becoming less and less of an abstract academic or entertainment-based curiosity, and more of a pragmatic one. The threat of societal collapse comes from the intentional and relentless promotion of globalism, open borders, mass migration of displaced peoples, and the erosion of the rule of law. And all these are on top of an already strained global economy saddled with a pandemic.
If anything, 2020-21 has given western civilization a small taste of the pending destruction that is on the horizon. I suspect even this emerging reality both scares and fascinates people with equal enthusiasms. Part of it is the fascination we have with wrapping our minds around such visuals as a vacant New York City or Washington D.C. The more appealing aspect of it I suspect is the end of normalcy, particularly, if your version of normal is insufferably mundane or monotonous. Still, while everyone wants to watch the end of the world from a distance, no one actually wants to live through it.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.       1 John 2:17
Speaking not from a religious or spiritual standpoint, but simply as a mortal being, we are all (we’re we being totally honest with ourselves) morbidly curious about how everything ends, because deep down, we know it must. How could we not? I mean, everything in our world, to the present, has had an expiration date.
To that end, the world is littered with empires, kingdoms, and nations, which have all come and gone. Whatever ruins they have left behind, are only ever hollowed-out shells of what used to be. What remains is nothing more than a shadow of its former greatness. The only purpose they have now is to serve as reminders that this world and the things in it are passing away.
I suppose, given my fondness for the topic of geopolitical entropy, people of all stripes have asked me, what I thought happens to the United States in the end? I usually respond with a counter-question akin to something like- what makes us any different than any other empire of old? Kingdoms like ancient Egypt, Babylon, or Rome were all great superpowers of their respective days, and yet, they have all come and gone.
I respond this way primarily because it taps into a familiar, historical narrative of what is known. It should (in most cases) remind them that the way things are now, is not how they will always be. True, we moderns can gaze upon the ruins of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and see when man was once ancient. However, ancient is a matter of perspective. To the ‘ancient Greeks,’ the Chaldeans were ancient. To the young millennials, the 1980s were ancient.
The truth is, I do think America was special and divinely chosen to fulfill a particular role/mission here in the last days. What I was referring to in my counter-question was not regarding our purpose for existence, but our longevity. To date, every nation has followed Alexander Tytler’s Cycle of Nations model, or one very similar to it, and we are no exception to that.
 "Eight Stages of a Democracy."
1) Bondage to Spiritual Faith
2) Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
3) Great Courage to Liberty
4) Liberty to Abundance
5) Abundance to Selfishness
6) Selfishness to Apathy
7) Apathy to Dependence
8) Dependence back to Bondage
Furthermore, if what President John Adams had this to say regarding our way of life is true, then I presume we are doomed. He once said…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Since we have long abandoned any pretenses of being a moral people, what we are now witnessing is the final stages of the demise of our own empire.
The truth is, the Bible purposefully making no mention of the world’s greatest superpower in its description of the last days seems overtly obvious. It might be considered an argument from silence, but it is a deafening and unsettling silence.
A similar argument could be made in support of this by the unnatural silence found in nature. Normally, when you walk through the woods, you hear all manner of sounds. That is because the woods are teeming with life (birds, insects, squirrels, bears, deer, frogs, etc.) and as such, make noise analogous to life. However, if you were to walk through the woods and hear nothing- no insects, no birds, no animals, and perhaps, not even any wind or rustling of leaves, you know something is amiss.
This is the same type of silence regarding the fate of the United States in the Bible. The intentional silence of our nation can only be due to our non-existence. We are far too clamorsome and intrusive to not warrant a mention. In fact, so great is the silence of our existence in Scripture that to think otherwise is too great an oversight for any reasonable person to accept. The fact that we are not mentioned means either we never existed (which can't be true), or rather, are not in existence at the time of the events being described.
Obviously, the world without the United States is a significant change to the world order of today. The usual response I get from those who don’t see the US going anywhere is that the US didn’t exist back then, so it was only natural as to why it’s not accounted for in an ancient document like the Bible.
However, the Bible does mention other future nations who had not yet come to power by the time of its writing, especially in the Old Testament books like Daniel and Ezekiel. Nations like Persia, Russia, Greece, Libya, the Romans, and a future revived Roman Empire were all future to the time of those prophetic writings, so our exclusion is not without precedent.
Is it safe to assume that there were "patriots" in the Roman Empire (circa 4th century AD) who longed to see the revival of the greatness of Rome? How is that any different than our own MAGA and Tea Party movements today? That is not to say it's wrong to want to make your country better or return to more, moral, chivalrous, and honor-bound times. It's not wrong, it's just misguided. We are far too divided as a nation to really ever recover.
Think about it this way- if the United States fought a bloody, four-year civil war in the 1800s over the issues of states' rights and slavery (two issues), how much more issues do we have today that are worthy of battle? I can think of a dozen off the top of my head that could split this nation six ways from Sunday.
The truth is, as a nation, we have been pursuing our present course of materialism, secularism, and agnosticism since at least the 1960s. The corruption is far too systemic and embedded into every institution to change it now without some cataclysmic civil war or change to our way of life. If the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and the elections of 2020 proved anything, it is just how rotting and corrupt our form of governance has become. Any attempts to change or correct our current trajectory is met with the full force of the bureaucratic deep state, and its minions at nearly every federal and corporate institution.
Barring any divine intervention (more on this in Volume III), is the fact this nation is headed for utter ruin. By ruin I mean, a total collapse of our federal, constitutional republic and replacing it with something else. Something lesser. Given the historical tendencies of human history, we are destined to either become or succumb to one or all of the following outcomes:
  • tyrannical despotism
  • anarchism
  • imperial subjugation
  • secession
  • civil war
None of these are preferable options to our present situation. Therefore, what would likely happen is as follows.
  1. Increased lawlessness until various parts of the country succumb to anarchy/lawlessness
  2. Government and corporate tyranny increases to curb said lawlessness (loss of liberty)
  3. The fracturing of the union by secession or civil war by states fighting against increased federal tyranny
  4. A declaration of absolute despotism when the rightful (in his or her mind) comes to power
  5. Societal collapse, and absorption into some other regional or transnational authority
Volume II Conclusion
It is not my intent to hammer out such a depressing topic on the first week of this new year but to simply and honestly chronicle where we are as a nation. It does no one any justice to lie and pretend we are on the cusp of some great spiritual and economic revival.
We have been a collective and geographically isolated people now for 402 years. We have been a constitutional republic now for 246 years. We have been a nation in the throes of a cold civil war now for the better part of 70 years. The divine bill for our decadence and moral corruption has come due, and we (as a nation) must pay the price.
The irony is not lost on me of the short-lived Cold War victory against the Evil Empire (USSR); I failed to realize just how short-lived that victory really was. While many were busily glad-handing each other over said victory, the institutions of this nation were drowning in corruption; neck-deep in the fight of our national life. There inside our own borders, was raging the existential clash of civilizations most Americans weren't even aware was happening until at least the 2010s. All that this finally-realized acknowledgment of the war really did, so late in the game, was to recognize that it was already too late. At best, all the Tea Party and MAGA movements did was delay the inevitable by a decade or less.
The reason hardly anyone even knew we were in a war, is because this war was not flashy, nor represented in pop culture. It was not fought with bullets or bombs but by treachery and subversion. It was an ideological war of attrition, pitting two ways of life against each other and seeing who will outlast the other. The subversives had been so effective at hiding their true intentions, that to even question it, was to immediately be labeled a conspiracy theorist and shunned by the mainstream.
On one side of the conflict, we have a coalition of determined leftists and progressives who have joined hands in an uneasy and unlikely alliance with Islamists, communists, socialists, anarchists, and corporate globalists. While they each have radically different views on how the world should run, they are of the same mind in regards to upending the current world order.
On the other side, we have the average citizen, who, though, greatly outnumbering the former, have only recently awakened and are still operating more like a rabble, than a unified front. However, even if the rabble created a unified front, is no guarantee of outcome.
The leftists hold all the key government, corporate, social media, academic, and entertainment positions of power. They control 99% of the messaging platforms. They control the propaganda machines. They control the bureaucracy. They are singularly committed to ending our reign as the world's global superpower.
While we might have successfully brought down the Russian bear, what replaced it was the multi-headed hydra. You may cut off one head, but two arise to take its place. The only one who can defeat this new beastly foe is not the freedom-loving peoples of the world, but Jesus Christ Himself.
to be continued

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The Apocalypse Journals: Volume III – Pete Garcia - 1 week 3 days ago #189

The Apocalypse Journal: Volume III – Pete Garcia -  www.rev310.net/post/the-apocalypse-journal-volume-iii
The Second Coming: by William Butler Yeats (1919)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction,
while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The end of the world is not just some recent curiosity by bored Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers but a common fascination as found throughout the annals of recent human history (by recent I mean of the last two millennia). This fascination is found in all cultures, and by believers and skeptics alike. Popular culture has associated "the apocalypse" with all manners of calamities, and depending on the era, said apocalypses are usually limited to the threat and technology of the day.
Mr. Yeats was not a believer in biblical Christianity, but even he acknowledged the traditional understanding of the Second Coming of Christ, even if he did attempt to put his own post-World War I spin to it. Nevertheless, Yeats (perhaps channeling his inner “Ozymandias”) touched upon something that is unique to the rising and falling of every culture...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
Secular Skepticism and Christian Heterodoxy/ Heresy
Contrary to the Christian blessed hope is the entirely speculative theorizations of secular apocalypticism. In this, they have come up with every possible end-of-world scenario apart from the actual divinely appointed one as set forth in Holy Scripture. For them, the end of the world is either the result of some unavoidable natural or cosmic calamity (i.e., asteroid, supervolcano, etc.) or an avoidable man-caused one (i.e., global warming, climate change, etc.).
In either case, the godless are just as divided as Christians are regarding when they believe this end actually occurs. For the more skeptical godless, they see the end happening centuries and even perhaps, millennia from now. For the godless doomsayers, the end of the world is predicted to happen every few years because of man-caused global cooling/warming/climate change/etc. There are, of course, endless lists by Wikipedia, the History Channel, Discovery, NASA, DARPA, FEMA, and just about every other civilian and/or federal agency detailing how they think the world ends.
  • Global warming/cooling/climate change
  • Asteroid/Meteor strike
  • Alien Invasion
  • Supervolcanoes
  • Solar Storms
  • Etc. etc., ad nauseum
Each of these groups/agencies has put forth their best and brightest in an attempt to find workable solutions to each of their respective doomsday events. Still, they fall woefully short of actually understanding what will happen and why. They do this because they dismiss out of hand, what the Bible has to say on the subject. To them, the Bible is outdated and out of touch with modern political correctness. It’s an archaic book filled with apocalyptic symbolism that is decidedly too narrow-minded. Thus, it is not considered “woke” enough to discuss in a public forum.
Not to be outdone by their secular counterparts, various heterodox factions within Christendom have effectively either butchered or watered down what the Bible has to say about the end. They do this primarily for two reasons- 1) either to create more followers, or 2) to sound more respectable/acceptable to their secular peers. Eschatological hyper sensationalism aside (as these are generally done by the more excitable fringe cults types), the three most prominent forms of prophetic watering-down are amillennialism, post-millennialism, and preterism.
They either deny what the Bible says about how and when the end will come, or they grossly distort it. Here is a fairly recent example by the Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis Eugene George regarding his "time is a flat circle" views on the future of Christianity:
“I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die as a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.” - First Things
Had he believed what the Bible says about the end, I doubt he would have made such a profoundly sad and misguided statement. Nevertheless, since Roman Catholicism (and also Reformed Theology) are predominantly either Preterist or Amillennial by their theological nature, they tend to lean back on the secular understanding of the cyclical nature of human history instead of the Bible, as proof positive for their respective eschatological understandings.
These derivations of the truth, no matter how great or slight, are all carefully packaged lies from the pit of hell, seeking to either distort or lessen men's understanding about what is coming upon the earth. In paradox to mankind's obsession over forbidden knowledge (i.e., seeking immortality apart from God), is the corruption of God's warning. When men no longer fear the coming judgment, they will foolishly race toward it encouraging its arrival in a false sense of bravado. Had Noah's generation taken him more seriously about what was coming upon the earth, I imagine, many more would have been saved.
Let us further narrow this down to the collapse of the US from a secular geopolitical perspective. Let’s pretend there is no rapture, seven-year Tribulation, second coming, or millennial kingdom. Let us pretend that the world was destined to continue on and on until the sun eventually supernovas or some other extinction-level event occurs way off into the distant future. Let us ask the question then, of how long could the United States last in its current form?
I think most experts would say and have said, that the US would continue to decline in power from the 2030s through the 2050s, with some other power (namely China) rising after that and becoming the global superpower we once were. IOW, they see a gradual decline and a shifting of power from one nation to another in the coming decades. Nevertheless, there is the end they want, versus the end, they will get. And the end they get will be seven + years filled with the most tyrannical global government the world has ever seen, followed quickly by the triumphant return of Jesus Christ in the air, followed by the armies of heaven.
Even if there wasn’t a Biblical reality to our present and near future, given the dynamic changes we’ve already seen introduced in very short periods of time (9/11, the Internet, Artificial Intelligence, COVID, etc.), is it even realistic to suggest we could survive as a constitutional republic?
Historically speaking, when we’ve seen drastic, global changes in very short periods of time, none of it ever ended without a change to the existing global order. Furthermore, none of the people living in those times were ever invited to discuss whether or not they wanted those changes to be put upon them. I mean, let’s take something as seemingly benign as the Internet, and show how rapidly this has changed our world. It not only changed everything, but it is also still changing everything.
Ultimately, we know the goal of the Fourth Industrial Revolution promoters is to automate everything that can be automated and to connect everything to the Internet that can be connected to the Internet. I think if we had shown the people of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, what the internet would do, and how it would change everything, and what the ultimate goal of it was, people back then might have had second thoughts.
More recently, the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 (9/11) drastically impacted how we travel and conduct global security...and have, for the past twenty years. It has allowed the government to introduce a whole host of draconian and Orwellian government surveillance measures we would have never accepted years earlier. Nearly twenty years after 9/11, another global "crisis" (a global pandemic) rounded off the rest of the un-implemented draconian measures. These (medical tyranny en route to a social credit system) effectively fused politically correct federal policy into corporate obedience, making 1930s German fascism seem amateur in comparison. Needless to say, after the events of 2020-21, what recent examples provide any sane, reasonable person with the notion that the US is going to get the decades-long soft-decline the experts are predicting?
The end of the US as a constitutional republic is coming to its inevitable end, and quickly. And when that happens, the world will fall with it into the darkest nightmare it's ever had to endure. The only hope this world has is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be removed from this planet before that hour of terrible testing comes to planet earth.
When that fullness of the Gentiles comes in, God Himself will give the world its greatest crisis to date. By removing millions of believers, the old world order, and all its trappings, will collapse the US, which will trigger a global economic collapse. This is what will necessitate the need for global reorganization and world governance. This will be its final secular human configuration.
While the word apocalypse has often been conflated as meaning either the end of civilization or the end of the world, these are clearly not the same things. The Greek word apocalypse (apokalupsis) simply means to reveal, or revelation, however, its name has been synonymous with cataclysmic world-ending events since at least the end of the first century. Whether referencing the collapse of the Roman Empire (circa 430AD), the numerous invasions by the Viking or Mongol hordes throughout the Middle Ages, or even the Black Death of the same time, while these could be considered "mini-apocalypses" in their own rights, they typically marked a specific point of reckoning. Not to misstate the obvious, but while the collapse of a global superpower would trigger a necessary global reordering, it would not, however, equal the end of the world.
One of the most famous and well-documented inquiries of the last days, was by Jesus' disciples in the Olivet Discourse as found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). At that time, neither Christianity (as an organized belief system) nor the Church (the singularly corporate body of believers) had yet been created. These were simple men, (i.e., Jewish believers in a Jewish Messiah), asking questions, not just about their country (Israel), but of the whole world. They wanted the big picture view from God.
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matt. 24:3
Who better to ask about the end of the world than the One who created it? Certainly, if Jesus ever had the perfect time to set the official record straight, here was the opportunity. If the world was destined to continue on and on until some undefined (or ill-defined), unknowable day way off into the distant, unknown future, Jesus would have said it here. Instead, Jesus gives the numerous signs to watch for and then likens the end as coming like birth pangs in a pregnancy. Furthermore, He caps it all off with the Parable of the Fig Tree, which, for better or worse (depending on your eschatology), links the end times with the rebirth of national Israel. Regarding the linkage between the fulfillment of all these things, and pregnancy is that, despite all the different races, ethnicities, and cultures, all pregnancies share one thing in common- they all have a definitive beginning and they all have a definitive end. One cannot stay pregnant forever.
The beginning of the pregnancy was with the conception of the Church when the Holy Spirit was given to those early believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). The end of the pregnancy will be when the pregnancy has come full term. That full term will arrive when the 'full number of Gentiles' has come in (Romans 11:25). Then the Church will be delivered (birthed) from mortal to immortal, and from corruption to incorruption (Col. 2:19, Cor. 15:42-55).
Up until that point, however, creation will continue to labor and groan with greater frequency and intensity until the redemption of our bodies occurs at the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18, Rev. 3:10), and we receive our literal adoption as heirs of God (Romans 8:22-23, 30). This is not some crazy speculation, nor wild-eyed theory, but is called our blessed hope (Titus 2:13). With this special hope, we are to occupy with a watchful expectancy until He returns (Luke 12:37, 19:13, 1 Thess. 5:1-4, Hebrews 10:25, Rev. 3:2-3).
Many Christians (and I'm using that term loosely here) claim the Rapture is not only not true, but unnecessary. However, if they read their Bibles, they would realize how foolish this idea of "not being necessary" is, because the Rapture is absolutely necessary. It is the deliverance of the Church (the Bride of Christ) to its final form- our glorification. The three primary stages a believer goes through are justification, sanctification, and finally, glorification (Rom. 8:30). You can't have salvation without it, because we are not designed (physically) to live where God is in these mortal bodies. Conversely, neither are we going to spend eternity as wispy spirits. We will have new bodies that can eat, touch, be touched, exist where God is, and do the things Christ could do after His resurrection such as appear and disappear at will, or teleport through solid matter, while still being able to eat and drink (1 Cor. 15, 1 John 3).
I mentioned this in passing earlier, but let me expand on something that might have some confusion. Although not critical to understanding, there has been a clouding of understanding regarding our corporate nature as "the Church." I used to hold to this belief for many years because I hadn't really thought it through. It was the belief that the Church was born at Pentecost. However, when you think about it, that simply cannot be true.
The Church was not born at Pentecost, it was conceived there by the giving of the Holy Spirit who descended upon those first believers visibly as cloven tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-4). A similar process occurred when the Holy Spirit overshadows Mary prior to her pregnancy with the Son of God. The moment He overshadowed her, she didn't instantly deliver our Savior with birth. She went through the normal stages of pregnancy. As Revelation 12 summarizes over two thousand years of history very succinctly in two verses, it states:
She (Israel) bore a male Child (Jesus Christ) who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child (the Church) was caught up (Raptured) to God and His throne. Rev. 12:5 (my comments)
So how can I make the audacious claim that we (the Church) is the Child who was caught up? Simple. We are the body of Christ. He is the head, we are the body. (Eph. 5:23, Col. 1:18). Jesus was not "caught up," He ascended of His own power (John 20:17, Luke 24:51). We the Church are promised to be 'caught up.' Furthermore, during this age of development/maturing/growing, the Church is in utero (spiritually speaking). During this time, the Holy Spirit takes on multiple roles, all of which were divinely ordained to protect, comfort, and build the Church in the "womb" (i.e., the mystery kingdom) while still living behind enemy lines. In regards to the Church's development, the Holy Spirit…
1. Forever seals the believer (Eph. 1:11-14, 4:30, 2 Cor. 1:21-22)
2. Comforts and helps the believer (John 14-16)
3. Regenerates and renews the believer (Titus 3:5)
4. Give new gifts and wisdom to the believer (1 Cor. 2:10-13, 12:4)
5. Convicts the unbelieving world of its sin (John 15:26, 16:8)
6. Through the Church, restrains evil so that the Antichrist cannot be brought forth prematurely (2 Thess. 2:6-10)
Thus, the Church remains in its present mystery form, until the ‘full number of Gentiles’ comes in (Rom. 11:25). This is when the times of the Gentiles will come to their inevitable end (Luke 21:24). Just as clamorous as it is for the baby inside the womb to enter into the actual time of birth, our birth (from mortality to immortality) will be filled with a similar type of disruption to our normal goings-on. We are going to hear the shout, the trumpet blast, and the call to “come up here” (1 Thess. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-56, Rev. 3:10). Then, we will be yanked out of this reality, into our new perfect form to forever be with our Lord. When the Rapture happens, the world that was will change forever and there will be no going back to the way things were.
In closing, it would seem somewhat paradoxical then that I mention that there is both a cyclical nature to nations, as well as a non-cyclical, final ending to all nations; but it's not. The bible is very clear that until the end, things will run their course (including the rising and falling of nations) until Christ returns and establishes His forever kingdom. At that point, He will judge the nations, and then establish His own, permanent, imperial, kingdom. Thus, Christ’s final kingdom, will in fact, be a divine monarchy in two stages- first, the thousand-year millennial reign; after that, the eternal order. (Daniel 2:45, 12)
Thus, the true meaning of the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, as given to the Apostle John on Patmos nearly two thousand years ago, was not simply the fantastical foretelling of the end of the world, but of the revelation of Christ’s true nature as God-Incarnate.
He is Messiah
          He is the Son of God
                     He is the Son of Man
He is God in the Flesh
          He is the Prince of Peace
                     He is the Last Adam
                                He is our Kinsman Redeemer
                                          The I AM
                                The author and finisher of our faith
                     The Lion and the Lamb
          The King of kings, and Lord of lords
He is before all, and above all
                     He is the Rock cut without hands
          He is the Almighty
The book of Revelation is not just the revealing of all that is to come, but of the Father’s revelation (apokalupsis) of Jesus to all of creation; even to a Christ-rejecting world. Its heavy reliance upon the Old Testament (as well as the New), as well as its use of graphic symbolism, meant, this book would be as applicable to the first century, as it would, the twenty-first century. Thus, this book is God’s final, literary Magnus Opus (masterpiece) to a world shrouded in darkness.
Jesus is no longer a babe in the manger. He is no longer pitifully hanging broken and bloodied upon a cursed tree. When Christ is revealed here to John, who had known Him in life, had witnessed the Transfiguration, had been at His death, and even seen Him post-resurrection, even John could not fathom the awesomeness of Christ's true nature. He fell over as dead.
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Rev. 1:12-16
Just as Revelation begins with John's mind-shattering encounter with the resurrected and glorified Christ, so too must each of us come to that moment of realization that our world is passing away, and we too will one day stand in front of this God-Man. We have to realize that we have no hope apart from Christ and when we place our faith (the evidence of things not seen) in His finished and victorious work on the cross (conquering death and hell), we can be reborn (reconciled) back to Him. The God-given spirit within us that was once dead, can now be revived and reconnected back to our Creator. Thus, the Apocalpyse of Jesus Christ is not to be feared, but rejoiced in and anticipated with our every waking moment.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:10-13
Many have asked me over the years what occurs after Christ's Second Coming. It is here, during the Millennial Reign (Rev. 20) the New Jerusalem will take its place above the planet in a low-earth-orbit. The way I understand it is that this New Jerusalem is not "heaven" (as the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple still exist there as the celestial archetypes) but will descend out of heaven to the earth as a celestial satellite, shining brightly in the sky for all the nations to look upon as evidence of God’s great favor upon His bride the Church (Rev. 21:2).
Christ will simultaneously rule from the New Jerusalem (above the earth), as well as from David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem (Luke 1:32, Psalm 2, Isaiah 2:1-4, 11, 65:17-25). The Church (like Him in a lesser manner) will rule and reign under Him. We will have similar capabilities like Him to be able to travel between the two places at the speed of thought (1 John 3:1-3). The Church (as well as the OT Saints) will be assigned various leadership roles in the Millennial Kingdom, based upon our faithfulness and works here in this life. Just to clarify, we are not saved by our works or our own efforts- these are for reward and how God will assort the various assignments we have in eternity.
The nations (i.e., the physical populations who survived the Tribulation and enter into the Millennial Kingdom still with their sin natures intact) will begin to fill the earth again after the devastations of the 70th Week of Daniel and its conclusive battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19), Sheep and Goat Judgment (Matt. 25 [i.e., the Judgment of the nations]), and cleansing of the Third Temple (Dan. 12:11-12). As such, there is also the necessary re-establishment of the third Temple practices (Ezekiel 40-48).
Bear with me while I insert my personal understanding (my opinion) for the purposes of the Third Temple in the Millennial Kingdom. I’m not dogmatic about it, but I’ve come to the soft conclusion on this based on what makes the most sense (to me).
It is here (Ezekiel 40-48) that God reestablishes the Temple practices and rituals, to include animal sacrifices. These sacrifices do not replace what Christ did on the cross, nor negate Christ’s sacrificial atonement for those saved by it, nor are these animal sacrifices simply conducted as a memorial for the way things used to be done. These sacrifices represent a very pragmatic form of temporal cleansing for the millennial kingdom population for the daily cleansing of sins so they can even enter the temple to approach Christ.
I know some of you will point to the fact that in Hebrews (Heb. 7:27, 9:12, 10:10) states Christ’s sacrifice was once for all, and that is true. However, it is only true for those who have lived and died before Christ’s Second Coming; not for those who have come into being after Christ’s Second Coming (i.e., the peoples born into the millennial kingdom still with their sinful/unredeemed natures). For them, there still needs to be a "cleansing" process for them to approach God.
We know people will be born in the Millennial Kingdom, and these humans will not have redeemed natures (Isaiah 65:20, Rev. 20:7-10). However, these millennial people can’t simply be born again as believers were in the Church Age, because we are saved by grace through faith. For those living in the Millennial Kingdom, what faith will they need to possess when they can visibly see, feel, speak to, and listen to, a ruling and reigning Christ on the throne in Jerusalem? What faith will they have/need when they can visibly see the New Jerusalem in the sky above them? What faith will they have when angels and the glorified saints interact with them on a daily basis? They won't need faith, because they will be eyewitnesses to everything supernatural. According to Scripture, what is faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (my emphasis)
Again, how can they have faith in things they can see with their own eyes, and do not need to hope for, because they are living in the promised Kingdom? Again, I’m not dogmatic about this, I’m (like you) trying to put these pieces together in a way that makes the most biblical sense.
This is in my mind, similar to how I understand how salvation occurred in the Old Testament. This is not saying there are two ways of salvation, there are not. We are saved by God's grace through our faith. However, the mechanisms for salvation were in fact, different because before Christ came, the new covenant/testament was not yet in effect. The new testament/covenant could not take effect until AFTER He died (Heb. 9:16-17). This means OT Saints couldn’t be born again (as we are now) being sealed by the Holy Spirit and heirs/sons of God in the same manner at the moment of salvation (as we are).
Rather, the Old Testament saints were justified by their faith in God (and received a good testimony) and were set aside in Abraham’s Bosom after they died. It is here they would await the arrival of the promised Christ to Sheol. This occurred after His crucifixion but before His physical resurrection and He would preach to them His victory over the forces of darkness, and deliver them up with Him (Eph. 4:7-9, 1 Peter 3:19-20). So when He ascended up, they came with Him and He emptied/delivered that portion of Sheol to Heaven. 

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