Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 10

 From this study, it becomes apparent that the End Times and consummation of all things is not solely a concern of the twentieth and twenty-first century church. Rather this outlook has been a part of the conceptual framework of the spiritually inclined since at least the earliest days of that institution and perhaps even earlier. Admittedly, interest in the apocalypse has ebbed and flowed throughout church history. However, given the fallen nature of the world in which humanity resides prone to an assortment of calamities both natural and man made, this sense of foreboding awareness stems from the fact that things as they are now known will indeed come to a climactic end. Apocalyptic thinking has become a permanent fixture of the Western mindset not only because it is persistent but also because it is elastic (Kyle, 185). Over time the understanding of how the symbolic prophetic outlines would be fulfilled has changed.

For example, those inclined towards apocalypticism at the time of the Middle Ages no doubt interpreted prophecies regarding the Beast that made war with the saints as a reference to a marauding Islamic conquerer. During much of the twentieth century, many dispensationalists held that Communism/Russia would play some role in the Antichrist's rise to power. More than one eschatologist wondered if Mikhail Gorbachev with his distinctive forehead birthmark and prominence during the closing of the Cold War was the Beast with the head wound that would deceive the world in the name of peace. Still others speculated if the much anticipated unification of the European Common Market would serve as the multinational confederacy that would succeed in imposing planetary rule upon the remainder of the world. Now, here as we approach the middle decades of the twenty-first century, it seems that this sort of speculative banter may have come fill circle with it once again becoming erudite and insightful to caution that the prophesied man of sin might be an adherent of some form of Islam.

Though the Bible makes no direct connection with the date as it is based upon calculations determined well after the close and canonization of Scripture, the year 2000 and those immediately following held enormous sway in the minds of those fascinated by some degree by the subjects of eschatology and the End Times. Because of embarrassment sparked by previous date setters, most ministers wanting to retain a degree of respectability were not necessarily explicit in terms of excitement sparked by the year 2000. However, one could not help but notice an undercurrent of anticipation if one knew exactly what to look for in terms of a subtle presuppositional framework. For example, a number of interwoven theological perspectives such as dispensationalism and literalist Biblical creationism no doubt harbored an affinity for the year 2000 given that those at the intersection of these beliefs often held that the world is approximately 6000 years old according to Bishop Ussher's chronology. The belief was further solidified through an interpretation of Matthew 24:34 that Christ would return within the lifetime of the generation that saw the reestablishment of Israel as a bonafide nation within a specified geographic location.

Despite no direct spiritual links to the year 2000 or its immediate time frame, secular futurists having been conceptually conditioned in a milieu at least nominally drawing from Judeo-Christian sources were themselves awed at the concept of this new millennium as something of a boundary dividing human perceptions or at least in terms of the tools individuals used to gather and process information. For it was around the year 2000 that the Internet became pervasive and soon thereafter followed the ubiquitous smartphone. It was through these relatively inexpensive gadgets that the average teenager had at their fingertips greater computer power than all of NASA at the time of the Moon landing and access to knowledge surpassing the library of Alexandria. Whether or not these opportunities were used for good or ill is beyond the scope of this particular analysis.

Probably the most open in explicitly embracing the year 2000 as humanity's gateway into the eschatological would have probably been those whose worldview was inspired by the psychic or occult. Those of such an orientation derived their predictions from a variety of sources such as dreams, channeling, and an assortment of ancient writings. For example, through calculations based on the dimensions of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, it was predicted that the Age of the Spirit would begin between 1995 and 2025 and that Christ would appear through a reincarnated form around the year 2040 (Abanes, 71-73). Occultists that predicted revolutionary transformation in the opening years and decades of the twentieth century included Edgar Cayce, Carl Jung, and Madame Blavatasky. The interesting thing, however, is how much their predictions differed if they supposedly came from a spiritual source superior to and even more ancient than that upon which Christianity was based.

This apprehension, angst, and confusion leaves the discerning Christian wondering how we as believers should approach the subject of the End Times. On the one hand, we do not want to live as those that claim not to give second thought to the reality that life in this world as now lived will one day come to a very dramatic conclusion or rather transformation. On the other, neither does the believer want to make the mistakes of the past such as those of the Millerites, in the process bringing profound embarrassment upon themselves, potentially damaging those under their spiritual influence and alienating even more from important prophetic revelation.

Foremost, care must be taken to distinguish what the Biblical text actually says from ideas that have accrued as a result of interpreting these passages. Particular note must be made whether a concept under consideration is actually Biblical in origin or if it might be derived more from occult tradition. Yet the Christian must also not be so quick to dismiss claims made in the name of science such as those regarding the dangers posed by nuclear proliferation or even climate change. For while it must be realized that these are often promoted to advance various agendas that undermine national security and imperil the country's economic way of life, these can possess enough truth to hint how events might be progressing towards the Last Days as foretold in the pages of the Bible. The portions of Scripture dealing with the climax of history as understood by the minds of we mere mortals are some of the most baffling, detailing some of the most terrifying and awe-inspiring things imaginable. As such, it is easy for even the most devout to get distracted by these essential details rather than to focus on the theme of this narrative that the Lord of all creation will one day return to this world to gather His redeemed and to impose judgment upon all who find themselves outside of that blessed throng.

by Frederick Meekins


Abanes, Richard. End-Times Visions: The Doomsday Obsession. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1988. 

Kirsch, Jonathan. A History Of The End Of The World: How The Most Controversial Book In The Bible Changed The Course Of Western Civilization. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006. 

Kagan, Donald, Ozment, Steven and Turner, Frank. The Western Heritage Since 1789 (Fourth Edition). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991. 

Kyle, Richard. The Last Days Are Here Again: A History Of The End Times.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1988. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1996. <p>

Ladd, George. The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and The Rapture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1956. 

Thompson, Damian. The End Of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 9

 Concerns regarding the End Times have become such a pervasive aspect of contemporary culture that, Richard Kyle writes, “Thus in the late twentieth century the apocalyptic mindset is no longer the fringe phenomena of a few marginalized people which we can ignore (166).” No longer are the most devout or religiously pious the only ones realizing that the world as we know it will likely one day meet with some sort of demise. Interestingly, some of those now the most obsessed with looming doom are not even religious in the traditional sense. In fact, a significant number are even hostile or dismissive of the notion of a personal deity guiding history through the sorts of horrors of which they forewarn to a blissful or beatific conclusion. And unlike the eschatological speculation or reflection of their theistic counterparts, the visions proposed by the secularists offer little in terms of hope for a better tomorrow.

The most prominent sort of secular apocalypse could be categorized as imaginary in nature. Kyle writes, “Most of the ideas of how the world will end have come from the Bible, science, or the occult. But eschatology --- particularly secular eschatology --- has also been conveyed through fiction, especially novels and film (169).” This is not to say that the scenarios in such works could not happen or bear no connection to plausible reality. Rather, what these narratives present is a reflection upon the concerns and anxieties of a given day and projecting the implications of these into an hypothesized potential future.

Through consideration of these stories, the student of history and religion can actually track how these concerns change over time, occasionally even in the mind of a single author. For example, prior to the calamity of the Great War in 1914, in most literary instances the end came about as a result of a natural force beyond the control of mankind. However, after World War I the disasters and tragedies described were usually the result of human actions of some kind such as a technology that spiraled out of control or even the outcome of a deliberate act.

This conceptual alteration could be detected in the works of H.G. Wells. For example, in The War Of The Worlds, the threat posed by the forces of nature is symbolized by Marian invaders. However, in Shape Of Things To Come, it is not an amorphous threat from out there or beyond that Wells feared threatened the species but rather a powerful planetary elite. Likewise, one can almost detect a similar shift in more contemporary examples such as Battlestar Galatica. In the original version, the Cylons were a threat that originated external to mankind. However, in the updated reimagining, the Cylons were actually created by humanity, it eventually being revealed, by a grieving father who wanted nothing more than to create a virtual reality version of his daughter killed in a terrorist attack.

As outlandish as the plotlines of many movies, television series, and novels might sound, these narratives are not beyond the basis of possibility. A number also bear a startling similarity to the ways prophetic portions of Scripture have been interpreted by exegetes applying their understanding of twentieth and twenty-first science and technology.v Foremost among potential secular apocalypses no doubt ranks nuclear annihilation. This possibility has gripped the minds of devout and reprobate alike since the mid 1940's when atomic devices were dropped on Japan in the hopes of bringing a swift conclusion to the Second World War. In the attack on Hiroshima, it has been estimated that over 70,000 individuals lost their lives (Kagan, 1053). Following that, these weapons not only increased in their destructive potential but proliferated in terms of ending up in the hands of regimes and some contend even groups at odds with the United States in terms of geopolitical vision. But at least at the height of the Cold War, the desire of the powers on either side of the ideological divide to see the world governed in their respective images either along the lines of modified free market capitalism or even repressive totalitarian Communism prevented these parties from destroying it. Such an attack would have resulted in devastating retaliation or a global ecological catastrophe where the fortunate might have actually been those losing their lives in the opening round of such a conflict.

It was hoped that the diminution in direct tensions between the United States and Russia following the demise of the Soviet Union that the likelihood of a mass casualty nuclear incident would be similarly decreased. However, such a hope did not necessarily transpire. If anything, the threat merely transformed and actually became less predictable. As a failed state, it was feared that the Soviet bureaucrats that became underworld oligarchs could sell these devices to assorted rogue states and terrorist groups. In turn, many of these potential customers were of a radical Islamist persuasion --- unlike Communists with no conception of a life beyond this one --- who were just as alright with blowing up the world or converting it since the true reward sought by those of this perspective was a blissful Heaven-like paradise.

Other secularists concerned about the end of the world as we know it are not so concerned that the world is going to end in a giant explosion but it will nevertheless be the result of man's irresponsible behavior in the form of environmental desolation. Foremost among these ranks global warming or climate change. Those buying into the reality of this threat believe that the conspicuous consumption of fossil fuels results in an excess amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. This in turn, it is hypothesized, traps heat that is prevented from radiating off into the vacuum of space, creating what is referred to as the greenhouse effect. This rise in temperature could theoretically melt ice at the poles, resulting in the rise of sea levels flooding coastal areas as well as shifting weather patterns that could catastrophically impact global agriculture.

If the threat of nuclear annihilation and environmental devastation were not enough to keep the anxious awake at night, other analysts suggest it will most likely be global pandemics that will plunge the human species into an interminable death spiral. Civilization besieged by plague at an apocalyptic-level is not without historic precedent. During the Middle Ages, it has been estimated that up to a third of the population of Europe perished as a result of the Black Death believed to be bubonic plague (Abanes, 179).

Some experts believe the contemporary world with nations separated from one another by no more than a few days air travel is similarly vulnerable to the outbreak of killer disease. Such a possibility gained more widespread consideration in light of the AIDS outbreak of the 1980's. As terrible as that was, most felt protected from that pestilence to a degree since in most cases it was transmitted through promiscuous sexual activity or intravenous drug drug use. A number such as famed science fiction author Issac Asimov did contract the virus innocently as a result of a blood transfusion.

Even more frightening is the possibility of an illness such as ebola spreading unchecked around the globe. Unlike AIDS which can take years to fester in the systems of those infected by the virus, usually requires a deliberate behavioral action to contract and can now in many instances be kept in check through rigorous adherence to a strict pharmaceutical regimen, the victims of E.bola are often dead within a matter of days after exposure even while wearing what is thought to be a sealed protective biohazard suit. Kyle assures that E.bola is so overwhelmingly deadly that a natural outbreak under most circumstances would be self-limiting (181). The real danger, he assures, would no doubt be rogue states or terrorist organizations weaponing these microorganisms. With the proper technical background, such would not be too difficult and is no doubt why such bacteriological devices are even referred to as the poor man's nuclear bomb.

If nuclear, environmental, or biological holocaust are still not enough to frighten you, there are those terrified that life here as we know it will be wiped out by an object from beyond this world crashing into the Earth. Given its vastness, it would be understandable to assume that the chance of one object of minuscule size in comparison to the comprehensive totality of the universe crashing into another nearly as small would be negligible. However, such is believed to have occurred with such regularity that the potential for just such a catastrophe to be a legitimate cause of concern.

Many paleontologists believe just such a body crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago led to the eventual extinction of the dinosaurs. Creationists squeamish about referencing an event that old need not feel left out. For other incidents of interplanetary billiards have occurred more within a time frame acceptable to ardent defenders of a literalist interpretation of the Genesis account. In 1908, something exploded over the Tunguska region of Siberia that leveled 80 million trees in an area nearly twenty-five miles in diameter. And if that is not enough, a number of astronomers are able to earn respectable livings tracking the numerous asteroids, meteors, and comets that have come as close as 500,000 miles of Earth that would have impacted with the planet had the objects had been as little as six hours sooner.

Each of these scenarios described from a secular perspective are so overwhelming in terms of their destructive scope that the mind cannot help but attempt to categorize their likelihoods as remote or near impossible. The thing of it is that every last one of them can find a parallel in the prophetic apocalyptic portions of Scripture. For example, when Babylon is described as burning in Revelation 18, one can imagine this happening in the form of a nuclear attack on a metropolis of economic and cultural significance such as New York.

And even though conservatives are correct to articulate skeptical opposition in regards to environmentalist shenanigans intended to impede or decay Western standards of living in favor of the sort of squalor endemic to the Third World, one cannot help but notice descriptions of what sounds similar to climate change in regards to prophecies of mass marine die offs and waters being turned as to blood as detailed in Revelation 16:3-4. Elsewhere in the Apocalypse, fires are described as decimating much of the planet's plant life and throughout the text millions of human beings end up dead. Of the period of Tribulation, Matthew 24:22 says that for the sake of the Elect, if Christ did not intervene during this future time, things would get so bad that otherwise all flesh would be destroyed. It is this one essential promise that differentiates the hope provided in Christ from the despair of the secularist that realizes from the standpoint of man alone all is utterly lost.

By Frederick Meekins


Abanes, Richard. End-Times Visions: The Doomsday Obsession. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1988.

Kirsch, Jonathan. A History Of The End Of The World: How The Most Controversial Book In The Bible Changed The Course Of Western Civilization. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006.

Kagan, Donald, Ozment, Steven and Turner, Frank. The Western Heritage Since 1789 (Fourth Edition). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.

Kyle, Richard. The Last Days Are Here Again: A History Of The End Times. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1988.

Ladd, George. The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and The Rapture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1956.

Thompson, Damian. The End Of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1996.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Faulty Theological Interpretation Could Turn Deadly

It is not an historical or theological overstatement that a faulty eschatology can turn deadly.

Usually such a conclusion is deduced by reflecting upon sectarians that construe the passages regarding the End Times as being not only imminently literal but having to be implemented by believers themselves rather than by directly through the manifest actions of the Almighty Himself.

For example, the prophetic beliefs of the Branch Davidians played a role in the fiery raid that has become synonymous with Waco, Texas.

Earlier in American history, in what became known as the Great Disappointment, those that put their trust in the speculations of William Miller often rid themselves of their possessions in the hopes of the Second Advent that failed to materialize by the predicted date.

Yet those with a more secularized version of Christianity hoping to realize a number of Biblical promises this side of supernatural intervention should not conclude this era is no longer prone to such errors.

An article published 8/10/22 by the Religion News Service titled, “Faith leaders attend celebration of gun control law” discusses how a number of religionists were put on display by the Biden Administration to propagandize on behalf of the Safer Communities Act.

Listed among the duped lacking discernment was Shane Claiborne.

Given the length to which Claiborne has traditionally kept his hair for many years, his Biblical ignorance has often been on display for all to see.

I Corinthians 11:14 admonishes it is shameful for a man to have long hair.

However, Claiborne's lack of exegetical prowess now literally endangers the lives of individuals that may need to be protected by the literal use of force.

In the article, it is pointed out that Claiborne is “leader of an effort that melts down guns into garden tools in observance of the Biblical call to turn swords into plowshares.”

This is a reference to Isaiah 2:4 which reads, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. “

The passage is prophesying or foretelling of the time of the Millennial Kingdom following the return of Christ.

The text is descriptive; it is not telling the reader to do anything in the form of a categorical imperative reminiscent of Kant.

The Book of Revelation also expands that there will one day be a divine army that will destroy those at the Battle of Armageddon where the blood will flow so deep it will reach the bridles of the horses.

Would Shane Claiborne care to preemptively assume the responsibility upon himself implementing this particular Messianic undertaking as well?

The swords are beaten into plowshares in that blessed era because there will no longer be anymore need for them when Christ returns and sets the crooked paths straight.

There is not a single soul apart from a deluded lunatic that will insist we are anywhere near such a utopia.

One can make an argument that there are firearms in the hands of those that ought not to have them.

Yet it does not logically follow that those that have not been deemed incapable of handling the solemn responsibility of properly handling these tools should be denied access to ballistics technology.

Scripture allows for the right of self defense.

Luke 22:36 says, “...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. “

Thus, any effort designed to compel the morally conscientious to surrender the armaments to which they have been granted a divine right could result in a number of lives lost equaling and eventually surpassing in the long run the most shocking of cult tragedies or mass casualty incidents.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, December 30, 2022

Response To Capitol Kerfuffle An Excuse To Curtail Free Speech

 In light of the Capitol Kerfuffle, powerful elites are vociferously suggesting that those questioning the outcome of the 2020 election should be banned from social media or even forced to resign from elected office.

So what other notions considered to be historical truths should we be forbidden from questioning if we as individuals wish to retain our tenacious grip on what few diminishing liberties and opportunities we will be allowed by technocratic elites?

For nearly two decades now, it has been suggested that those that question global warming or climate change should be charged with no less than crimes against humanity.

If today one cannot question an election in which a significant number of Americans have raised a variety of valid concerns, what punishments or sanctions will be imposed upon citizens with the courage to question the legitimacy of racial reparations when such scams are pushed through the federal legislature?

In light of the Capitol Kerfuffle, progressives are at the forefront of rallying to the defense of a structure propagandists now categorize as “beloved” and as “a symbol of democracy”.

It is amazing how a comprehensive narrative can flip in less than the span of a single news cycle.

For those espousing leftwing ideology not that long ago were calling for the demolition of federal city edifices no less impressive as the Capitol such as the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.

Even more importantly these radical activists agitate constantly for the implementation of the very revolutionary Marxism that has destroyed lives and liberty around the globe.

by Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Is The GOP Losing Its Will To Fight?

 A story in the 10/3/22 edition of the Christian Science Monitor is titled “In Arizona, a major test of GOP unity: Will Republicans follow Barry Goldwater or Donald Trump?” 

But in the contexts of their respective particular historical moments, were these figures viewed that differently by their respective Party establishments and leftwing media critics? 

After all, was it not Goldwater that intoned that extremism in the defense of liberty was no vice and that moderation in the defense of justice was no virtue? 

In retaliation, the Johnson campaign produced the infamous Daisy Ad in which a young girl was seemingly incinerated in an atomic explosion. 

Say what you will about the alleged differences between Trump and Goldwater. 

However, one is forced to admit that a wall is inherently more peaceful than a nuclear deterrence can ever hope to be.

By Frederick Meekin

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 8

 Though history is linear in that it is moving towards an ultimate destination rather than circular in the sense of rigid absolute recurrence, it cannot be denied that the dynamics of human development and unfolding events do often follow a cyclical path over time. For example, eventually the sects of the nineteenth century that began with considerable apocalyptic and utopian fervor such as the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses tempered these impulses to an extent in favor of the stabilization brought about by leadership focusing more upon continuity of organization rather than the cessation of human affairs as presently known. The cultural change of the nineteenth century continued onward well into the twentieth. As such, it was to be expected that fringe movements outside the mainstream of conventional American religious life would continue to increase. But given the exaggerated pace of contemporary life, a number of these would prove to be far deadlier than their counterparts originating in what might be considered more tranquil bygone eras. In his analysis of the fringe groups embracing a form of apocalypticism arising from the tumult of the counterculture, Richard Kyle categorizes these as Western, occult, or racist.

The groups described as Western would be those that would be described as cults deriving inspiration from Christian theological terminology even if these sects no longer imbued the words with their original meanings. A number of these ended tragically in episodes of dramatic violence. Foremost among these ranked Jonestown in the jungles of Guyana and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

In the early days of his ministry, one would not have necessarily thought that the name Jim Jones would become synonymous with cultic violence and abuse. Jones began his ministry loosely affiliated with the Disciples of Christ with a concern regarding what he perceived as the racism of his day. Eventually, Jones' apocalyptic views focused more upon pending disaster rather than Christ's actual return. Initially, this prompted Jones to uproot his congregation from Indiana to settle in California where Jones thought it would be more likely to survive an inevitable nuclear catastrophe. However, it was this desire to protect his flock from the perils of the world through the fanatical withdrawal from society without relying on the power of Christ that would ultimately doom this experiment in integrated communal living.

As a result of increasing allegations of abuse within the People's Temple and out of a fear that even California would not prove to be a refuge from the pending tribulation, Jones relocated to the sect's compound in the Guyanese wilderness known as Jonestown where he descended into deeper levels of insanity and evil. The straw that broke the camel's back occurred when Senator Leo Ryan and an NBC news crew arrived to investigate claims of abuse alleged by families of group members as well as those residing at the compound. The desperate there reached out to the legislator after an initial meeting actually seemed to go well. These souls confided that they had not found a sanctuary from the hardships of the world but had actually become trapped in a Hell on earth.

Fearing retaliation on the part of authorities for assassinating the Senator along with others at the remote jungle airstrip, Jones attempted to convince his followers to commit what he categorized as an act of revolutionary suicide. It is often assumed that the residents of Jonestown embraced death in this manner willingly as it is what comes to mind when admonishing someone not to drink the Kool Aid, a reference to the toxic potion concocted to bring about this disturbing end. However, many only relented at gunpoint and others were actually shot. And though Jonestown no doubt stands as perhaps the most infamous example of the tragedy likely to result when people surrender good judgment and discernment for promises of a blissful tomorrow if all they do is surrender in total to a leader claiming direct revelation from or a unique understanding of God to which other believers are not privy, it would certainly not be the last.

Another example of such a group meeting a tragic demise as a result of an out of control belief in the Apocalypse was the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas. The Branch Davidians were themselves derived from Seventh Adventism, which adherents of this splinter group believed had grown lax in doctrine over the years as the emphasis of the mother movement switched from eagerly awaiting the pending Advent to organizational expansion. Deadbeat Vernon Howell was able to smooth talk his way into the sect's leadership by pitching woo at the elderly matriarch. With his knack for quoting Scripture (even if pulling it out of context), Howell was able to rebrand himself as David Koresh, claiming that he was the Lamb referenced in the Book of Revelation who would open the seven seals described in that prophetic text. As a result of a series of tactical blunders on the part of both Koresh and the government, eighty-eight Branch Davidians died in this attempt at actualized eschatology when the compound caught fire after a siege lasting well over a month.

Another form of fringe eschatology to gain a foothold towards the close of the twentieth century was noticeably racialist in nature. One of the early forms of what might be categorized as genetic apocalypticism could be found in the Worldwide Church of God as established by Herbert W. Armstrong. Central to the teaching of Armstrongism was the doctrine of Anglo-Israelism, the belief that the Anglo peoples of the world such as Great Britain and the United States were the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. As such, these nations were as every bit as eligible for the promises made to the Chosen People as were the Jews. Like the Jews that Armstrong hoped to mimic, his sect also held to Old Testament dietary laws, Sabbatarianism, and the rejection of the Trinity. In terms of his eschatology, Armstrong was influenced by dispensationalist notions of history spanning roughly for six thousand years with Christ returning at the Second Advent to establish the Millennial Kingdom which would follow the Tribulation during which the Antichrist would rule the world from his power base of a European confederacy consisting of ten nations.

But whereas Armstrong's form of ethnic millennialism might have admired the Jews a little too enthusiastically to the point of wanting to be part of a pan-Israelite family, the other forms of End Times speculation focused upon ethnicity actually went to the other extreme of explicit hostility towards the Jews and the exclusion of those not belonging to a preferred racial group. These movements were Christian Identity and the Black Muslims.

Christian Identity was similar to Anglo-Israelism in that both believed that the Caucasians of northern Europe were the true Chosen People of God. However, Christian Identity parted ways with the Worldwide Church of God in insisting that those now categorizing themselves as Jews in fact had no connection to Biblical Israel genetically. Instead, the vast majority now identified as part of that nation or ethnicity are actually descendants of a group known as the Khazars that converted to Judaism in the seventh century (Kyle, 160). Unlike traditionalist Christians who (despite instances of racial animosity or misgivings) admit that all humanity shares a common ancestry back to Adam and Eve and most directly from Noah following the Deluge, Christian Identity believed that non-Whites are not fully human in that such groups are the result of carnal relations between Satan and Eve in the case of the Jews or the result of a creation prior to the divine intervention resulting in Adam and Eve.

Interestingly, the tyrannical government known as the New World Order warned of by adherents of Christian Identity sounds quite similar to that of the Tribulation period under the Antichrist probably described in the greatest detail by dispensationalist scholars. However, beyond that, the two schools of eschatological interpretation have little else in common. For example, Christian Identity rejects the Pretribulational Rapture outright. Perhaps most disturbingly, in order to being about the Kingdom of God the faithful will be required to wage a race war, a prospect most often eagerly anticipated rather than dreaded by those mired in this spiritual delusion. The hope of the practitioner of Christian Identity is not that the Jew will be brought to Christ during the time of upheaval but will instead be eliminated so that the Earth and the surviving bloodlines might be spared genetic contamination or purified.

At the other end of the spectrum of racialist Armageddon could be found the Black Muslim movement. Despite being called the Nation of Islam, the sect was rather more of a cult than an expression of of orthodox or mainstream Islam. The Nation of Islam was founded in the 1920's by Wallace Farad, a mysterious figure many within the sect believed to be a theophany or God manifested in human form. His chief prophet and successor as leader was Elijah Muhammad.

In terms of eschatology and doctrine, the Nation of Islam advocated a militant anti-Caucasian Afrosupremacism. Whites are believed to be a genetically engineered inferior subspecies that will be obliterated when pious Blacks are taken up in a Rapture-like event to the Motherwheel --- a craft reminiscent of a UFO inspired in part by the Book of Ezekiel --- which will rain nuclear annihilation down upon those remaining upon the Earth at that time. Unlike orthodox Islam, the Nation of Islam held that there was no life after death and thus no literal Heaven or Hell. The religion's golden age would consist of the Black subjugation of the planet Earth.

The third variety of apocalyptic group to arise in the contemporary world could be categorized as New Age or occult. The groups, sects, and teachers falling into this particular category foretold of a pending golden age often proceeded by cataclysmic upheaval. However, unlike those drawing their prophetic inspiration from Christian sources, the primary focus of those in the occult or New Age was not so much the Second Coming of Christ but rather more about communal or personal transformation. Richard Kyle writes, “The coming New Age will be based not on some doomsday scenario but on a paradigm shift (154).” Through this paradigm shift, humanity will actualize the deity within. The result will be a new order characterized by equality, ecological restoration, international cooperation and galactic harmony.

Unlike strict Marxist Communism with its absolutist materialism, the New Age movement allowed for the existence of higher order intelligences or spirit beings it believed would guide humanity along the path to cosmic awareness. Most often now such entities are depicted as extraterrestrials like those their proponents believe responsible for UFO phenomena. The movement that developed surrounding the study of encounters began to take on characteristics noticeably beyond that of mere scientific curiosity and more like those of a religion or form of spirituality following George Adamski's claim in 1952 that he had met and talked with an extraterrestrial (Kyle, 157). Soon a sort of gospel affirmed by a number of others also claiming to be contactees developed professing for the need of our species to move beyond crass materialism and hostility into a more comprehensive awareness of reality if we wanted to avoid widespread destruction such as that embodied by nuclear weapons the recent development of which on Earth brought the planet to the attention of interstellar authorities.

At this point, Christian and New Age eschatology seem to parallel one another but diverge in distinct interpretative directions. In Dispensationalism, prior to the Tribulation, Christ catches His saints both the living and the dead into the air so that they might escape the judgments about to be poured out upon the Earth. In the spin placed on events by adherents of the New Age, Christians are still the the ones removed from the Earth at that time. However, that action on the part of extraterrestrials is not seen as a reward for dedication to Christ but rather as punishment. For it is the tendency of the true Christian to stick to morality as described in the pages of the Bible and that belief in Jesus Christ is the only way to gain access to Heaven. These notions are perceived as a profound impediment to the kinds of changes that need to take place in order for this utopian golden age to be actualized. Likewise, the cataclysms described in passages such as the Book of Revelation will not so much be viewed as God deliberately instigating the judgments. Instead, these disasters will be viewed as the Earth repairing itself after centuries of neglect at the hands of a culture based on Judeo-Christian principles rather than the balance claimed to be found in pantheism.

by Frederick Meekins


Abanes, Richard. End-Times Visions: The Doomsday Obsession. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1988.

Kirsch, Jonathan. A History Of The End Of The World: How The Most Controversial Book In The Bible Changed The Course Of Western Civilization. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006.

Kagan, Donald, Ozment, Steven and Turner, Frank. The Western Heritage Since 1789 (Fourth Edition). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.

Kyle, Richard. The Last Days Are Here Again: A History Of The End Times. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1988. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1996.

Ladd, George. The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and The Rapture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1956.

Thompson, Damian. The End Of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Pelosi Now Fawns Over Police Despite Once Backing Defunding

 Continuing to keep the January 6th pot stirred nearly two years later, the Termagant Pelosi bestowed Congressional Gold Medals on two police officers that did not die technically from any injuries sustained in the infamous kerfuffle.

One passed later as a result of natural causes and the other by his own hand in an act of suicide.

At the ceremony, Pelosi categorized January 6, 2021 as “the most staggering assault on democracy since the Civil War” and celebrated law enforcement for “staring down deadly violence and despicable bigotry.”

How quickly those that constantly harp the shortcomings of history over the heads of the American people in order to silence opposition to their particular agendas forget the events that they themselves participated in or abetted.

For Pelosi did little on behalf of law enforcement when she bent arthritic knee in submission to Black Lives Matter an Antifa terrorists as they looted their way across America hooting chants about defunding the police.

These subversives destroyed monuments every bit as historic as those Democrats constantly now describe with the modifier “beloved” in the attempt to milk these events of every drop of sympathetic propaganda possible.

From an objective standpoint, only those deluded by the most demoniac of ideologies will insist that the U.S. Capitol faired worse than the destruction inflicted upon St. John's Church just blocks from the White House in the name of tolerance, justice and inclusion.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, December 5, 2022

Tolerancemongers Now Triggered By Comments On Triggering

 The thing about revolutions is that, unless they are opposed, they are never concluded.

Those advocating systematized social upheaval and transformation are so perennially unhappy that their particular understanding of reality can be the only one granted the sanction of recognized existence.

That is why the end game is described as totalitarian.

For example, now that the progressivist mindset is on the verge of assimilating nearly every institution in sight akin to the Borg from Star Trek, it is not enough that you comply with whatever demands are imposed upon you.

Apparently you are not even allowed to notice or point out that these demands are being imposed.

Online woketopians are unhinged that Tim Allen dared observe how it is, to use the very word invoked to intimidate traditionalists into silence regarding nearly everything else that ticks off the chronically offended but over which an actual reason as to why cannot be articulated, problematic to say “Merry Christmas”.

At, opposition to Allen daring to express himself was expounded by an article titled “Tim Allen Pulls The Santa Clauses Into The War On Christmas With A Lazy, Inaccurate Joke”.

Humor is a thing that cannot be controlled, to paraphrase a patron saint of these aspiring tyrants Chairman Mao, through the barrel of a gun.

Something is either funny or it is not.

You might feign applause to avoid interrogation either by Stalin's secret police or the administrators of the corporate human resources department.

However, genuine amusement in the form of outright laughter or even internalized agreement (perhaps the thing the thought police despise and fear the most) cannot be as easily faked.

 The column goes on to condemn the cultural meme of the war against Christmas as inaccurate, inflammatory and perhaps, most of all, a myth.

Yet Western civilization as a manifestation of what was once right with the world now totters along the brink of ruination because of the extent to which these ideological subversives have successfully harnessed the refrain often with accompanying threats of violence such as rioting and looting that no such thing as objective truth really exists and that the greatest offense of all is to question the myth or narrative through which someone construes existence.

Thus if someone believes that there is a war against Christmas, tolerancemongers that have spent entire careers insisting that the notion of an objective reality is the epitome of oppression don't have much of a leg to stand on when attempting to hand down pronouncements as to which interpretation of subjective experience is correct.

The commentary concludes, “Do I sound triggered? Yeah, I do, because this nonsense argument is one that continues to divide people more and more every year...”

Yet how is that any worse than the antics of those that have learned that shouting the allegation of “racism” is the key to getting their increasingly strident demands by spineless and facile Whites.

Thus, the advocates of the cultural revolution going on around us for decades admit that what they really can't stand most of all is the gift inherent to you as a human being to articulate basic disagreement with the prevailing herd mentality.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Scanners Set To Discernment: The Progression Of Worldviews Leading To The Acceptance Of Extraterrestrials (Part 2)

 Julius Caesar, in his account of his escapades in Gaul, noted how that region was divided into three parts. Something similar might be said of the major epochs of the prevailing cultural currents in the West. Before the revelation of the one true God radiated outward towards the uttermost parts of the Earth from the Holy Land, for the most part with the exception of the Jewish people the West would be what would broadly be considered pagan. The next phase following the pagan was the Christian. The Christian was in turn followed by the Modern and the Postmodern.

To the contemporary Christian ear, the term "pagan" carries with it connotations of gratuitous violence and depraved sexuality. In part, such a reputation is justified on the grounds of the infamous excesses such as those noted in the declining days of Greece and Rome. For example, during that era, it was not uncommon to make sport of the shedding of human blood as epitomized by the Roman gladiatorial games.

Paganism did, however, go beyond that. Though existing prior to Christianity as the predominate form of religious belief and expression among Gentiles, paganism was not conceptually formulated as such until the rise of and in antithesis to Christianity. According to Glenn Sunshine in Why You Think The Way You Do: The Story Of Western Worldviews From Rome To Home, the term "pagan" is derived from the Latin words "pagus" meaning "the countryside" and "pagni" meaning "rural people" (20). This particular dichotomy came about because, at the time, Christianity was a religion concentrated in urban centers whereas those living in the countryside were more likely to hold on to the traditional ways a bit longer as the process of Christianization fanned out across the face of the Mediterranean and eventually into Europe.

Often, those not accustomed to the shades and intricacies of Christianity are bewildered by its sheer number of denominations and various theological interpretations. Technically, the same can be said of beliefs classified under the banner of paganism. Before the rise of Christianity, each culture had its own distinct set of gods (though there was often an intriguing degree of similarity in these figures and the myths about them transcending particular societies). Even within these cultures, there was a myriad of gods with particular cults and schools of devotion drawn to the adoration of specific deities presiding over a particular aspect of nature or existence.

It was this connection between the forces of nature to which man was subject to the whims of and this realm of the spirit that led to the establishment of imperial or national systems of religion. The purpose of these rituals was not so much about preparing the individual for the next world or to make them a better person per say but rather about placating the entities believed to be behind the phenomena manifesting in the physical world. Glenn Sunshine writes, "Crops could be destroyed or not ripen...volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and storms could end their lives or a slow death by starvation...Is it any wonder, then, that they saw in nature a source of transcendence, which they needed to appease in order to survive (21).” An individual’s relationship with the divine as we now understand such a notion in light of Christian theological assumptions did not enter all that significantly into the religious equation of that day.

With official religious belief so intertwined with social well-being or misfortune in the clash of empires, kingdoms and tribes, it came to be seen that those powers prevailing in arenas such as the battlefield must (it was reasoned) possess the greater favor of the more powerful gods. Thus, when a weaker nation was conquered, it was only natural that they would come to accept these new gods into their respective pantheons. For example, it has been hypothesized that the Olympians were the deities brought with tribes moving into the Greek peninsula that displaced the Titans who had been believed in by the original inhabitants of the region. The Greek and Roman pantheons so meshed together in their intertwining that today students of the Classical world often refer to these characters from these legends and myths with interchangeable names. For example, Zeus (Greek) is identified with Jupiter (Roman), Ares (Greek) with Mars (Roman), and Hermes (Greek) with Mercury (Roman).

Recognition of the multiplicity of deities came to be thought of as an essential component of a good social order to such an extent that not only did Rome require conquered people to bow to or burn a pinch of incense to the emperor as a god on earth but often Rome in turn would extend a degree of recognition to the spirits honored by these subject nations as well. Glenn Sunshine writes, “Adding one or more deities to the religious system was not a problem; in fact more educated people thought of this as being broadminded ...virtuous...cosmopolitan... People saw this inclusiveness as a source of strength for the Roman Empire...the more deities that supported Rome, the better (23).”

The thing was, this kind of system did not do all that much to fulfill the spiritual and emotional needs of the individual as a person. In fact, often these deities were little better than mere mortals in terms of personal conduct. In certain ways, these divinities may have even been worse than the average workaday pagan who, according to Romans 2:14-15, at least had the law written upon his heart to an extent to prick the conscience in cases where internal witness had not been muted through repeated violation. For example, Zeus hardly served as an example of marital fidelity towards his wife Hera. For this deity had numerous affairs with mortals catching his fancy resulting in numerous elicit hybrid offspring, the most famous of which was probably Hercules.

As a result of such an existential crisis of the spirit, a complex cultural process came into play that would result in the next great worldview epoch. Not unlike what is transpiring in our own day, the prosperity that accrued to Rome as a result of an ethos built upon early virtues such as duty and prudence eventually came to undermine the character especially of those in social classes with considerable time for leisure unprepared for the temptations brought about as a result of abundance. Rome became an extremely oversexed society. Gluttony and debauchery were rampant. What would be considered carnal pornographic images adorned nearly every conceivable artifact of material culture from pottery to the walls of domiciles. Despite the libidinous activity going on all around, one would have thought the population would have expanded. However, quite the opposite was true.

The Romans became so engrossed in the pursuit of these lusts that they had little desire to put up with the consequences of such unbridled virility. Abortion became rampant and the population plummeted. Yet at what seemed one of the dimmest periods of the light of the West, things were about to brighten in ways they never had before.

The Christian philosophy of history holds that often God works through the vilest of situations that have resulted from man’s depravity in order to bring about the fulfillment of His higher purpose. As such, the world was primed for the expanse of God’s revelation beyond the Jewish people of Israel by the time of Rome's decline as a source of spiritual strength and cultural vitality. Whereas the Romans valued administrative acumen, the Greeks intellectual aptitude and the Jewish identity based itself upon belonging to the chosen nation of God, the Christian worldview at its finest balanced each of these in a way with the potential to transcend them all in a universal manner that still respected these broad categories of cultural organization and endeavor. At first, this new creed appealed to those on the periphery of how success was construed at the time.

Borrowing heavily from the Jewish tradition in which its founder and His earliest disciples were steeped, the Christian worldview emphasized the value of each individual created in the image of the one true God. And since man was a reflection of this image and bought with the righteousness of Christ who shed His blood, died, and rose from the dead so that the redeemed might enjoy an eternity with Him in Heaven, the pleasures of the flesh were not something to be wallowed in like an animal unable to control itself no matter how strong these temptations might be to all born with a sin nature. Instead, such delights were to be enjoyed as God intended within the confines of matrimony for the sake of the children brought about as a result of such physical couplings, the emotional well being of the partners involved, and to serve as an example of the profound union between Christ and His bride known as the Church composed of all professing belief in Him.

Unlike Judaism, one did not have to belong theoretically to a particular ethnic group or to adopt its culture wholesale to become part of the new covenant open to any who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Granted, things would not be perfect under a civilization that took for part of its ultimate foundation the building blocks of the Christian worldview. In time, a number of the things done in its name, often though as a result of a misapplication of these principles, would be one of the justifications invoked by the critics and opponents of the faith for abandoning the creed altogether.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Scanners Set To Discernment: The Progression Of Worldviews Leading To The Acceptance Of Extraterrestrials (Part 1)

At the time of this writing in the early decades of the twenty-first century, to the unsuspecting it seems unlikely that extraterrestrials could serve as the basis of an influential new world religion or at least a popular form of budding spirituality. Of the groups examined thus far, the adherents of these are for the most part along the periphery of social acceptance and interpersonal success. Even more importantly, the beliefs espoused by these sects differ among themselves in ways as significant as the incompatibilities of the theological distinctives of the already existing world religions.

For example, the Raelians revel (one might say wallow) in man’s nature as a sexual being while the Heaven’s Gate loathed the physical component of the species to such an extent that the group will be remembered in the pages of history for at first mutilating their bodily organs specifically identified with carnal pleasure through self-castration and then by ultimately destroying their earthly lives altogether through ritual suicide. The Nation of Islam has traditionally been an Afrosupremacist, anti-White sect. The Mormons are often denigrated as the whitest of the White. At one time early in its history, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints looked down its nose at those of darker pigmentation for not having sided with God in the preincarnate war against Satan.

However, as in the case of greater ecumenical cooperation between a number of the major religions of the world, under certain circumstances there could very well come a time when assorted belief systems centered upon UFO's and extraterrestrials could set aside doctrinal differences and emphasize commonalities for the purposes of providing the planetary community a sense of perspective and assurance amidst a crisis that might be described as nothing short of apocalyptic. Even now, among the movements described there exists evidence of this kind of framework and dialog being set in place. For example, Louis Farrakhan is not only the head of the Nation of Islam but he has also had an association with the Church of Scientology.

If the wider ecumenical movement is being used as a framework as to what might happen among those groups that look to life beyond the Earth as a source of spiritual inspiration, one should also expect to see at least two approaches manifest themselves as to how adherents of these sects might respond to the melding and interaction of their respective interpretations as these kinds of worldviews fan out across the cultural and intellectual landscapes. As in the case of the ecumenical movement seeking cooperation and dialog between the traditional religions of the world, there will be members of these respective UFO belief systems that will deemphasize their dogmatic particulars for the sake of broadening the perceptions of humanity to the metaphysical meaning provided by the prospect of life from beyond the Earth.

On the other hand, scholars, academics, and assorted religious professionals should also expect a number within established UFO sects to remain aloof from any amorphous "exo-spirituality" that might develop. As in the case of more literal or fundamentalist adherents of established world religions, a number might prefer --- to borrow Christian phraseology --- the distinctives of the faith handed down to the saints or, in this case perhaps, more technically space cadets. Such devotees might come to view a cosmic universalism as a dilution of the specific creeds they held to so tenaciously in times when the broader public did not herald those looking to the stars as honored prophets with a message rescuing humanity from pending destruction but rather as borderline mental cases one evaluation away from being committed to a psychiatric institution. Furthermore, from what has been presented thus far, those embracing alternative spirituality are often as every bit as much denominationally partisan as religious enthusiasts whose beliefs could be categorized as "Terra-centric".

As fascinating as an examination of the squabbles likely to erupt among the highly-detailed interpretations of extraterrestrial spirituality might be such as to whether Greys, Nordics, or whatever other variety of alien might be humanity's interplanetary savior, going much further into that discussion alters the trajectory of this chapter's intended purpose of detailing how the intellectual and cultural climates are now such that a once fringe perspective could be on the verge of becoming one of civilization's most influential worldviews. To better understand where the world in general and the West in particular might be headed it might be a good idea to examine where we came from in terms of worldviews as a society and the path taken bringing us to where we are today in terms of the philosophical landscape. It has been said that those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it. By examining these peeks and valleys, the apologist has a better chance of arresting the downward trend most discerning Americans believe the nation to be on or to rescue a number of individuals from eternal damnation before the decay all around reaches a critical mass of no return.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 6

 Dispensationalist premillennialism and apocalypticism held to the Biblical warning that the days are waxing worse and worse. However, in terms of the opportunity to spread such a message and the pervasiveness of its influence, there was no better time for the field of prophetic studies than the second half of the twentieth century. Increased interest in eschatology in the waning decades of the twentieth century owed much to a confluence of advances in the means of communication as well as concerns regarding trends in world affairs.

The Evangelical prophecy studies industry consisted of a number of layers rather than a single interpretative monolith. At its most rarefied, dispensationalism --- akin to Gaul --- could be divided into three parts. Darrell Brock of Dallas Theological Seminary describes these as Scofieldian dispensationalism, revised dispensationalism, and progreesive dispensationalism (Kyle, 117). Scofieldian dispensationalists maintained sharp distinctions between God and the Church with God having an unique set of promises for each. Revised dispensationalists did not distinguish between Israel and the Church to the same degree, viewing overlap in regards to the covenantal promises made to each. Progressive dispensationalists, according to Kyle, avoided the prophetic speculation characteristic of the classic forms of dispensationalism. More academic in its approach to the study of the apocalypse than the classic forms of dispensationalism, progressive dispensationalism for the most part did not filter down to the popular level to the same degree.

From this division,the dispensationalist eschatological community was further divided between what could be considered the academics and the popularizers. The most respected academics in this theological specialty often traced their roots in one way or another back to Dallas Theological Seminary. In fact, Kyle goes so far as to call the institution “the sperm bank for dispensational thought in America (118).” Typifying this tradition would be that seminary's own John F. Walvoord whose best known work would probably be Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis. In it, Walvoord took a firm position that the Rapture and the ensuing End Time events were at hand but with scholarly caution that avoided setting any firm dates.

It is among the popularizers that the discerning begin to notice a more questionable track record. However, a number hoping to maintain respect, position, and credibility mirrored the evenhandedness of the Dallas Theological Seminary academics. For example, in Approaching Hoof Beats, Billy Graham explicitly warned of what he believed to be nuclear holocausts and plagues described symbolically in Scripture, but he was careful not to set a date. Pat Robertson, who at one time was not afraid to articulate outlandish prophetic utterances of dubious credibility over the years such as praying away hurricanes from the Virginia Beach area in order to spare his extensive ministry properties, toned his speculations down somewhat when he started entertaining political aspirations such as his 1988 presidential campaign and establishing organizations such as the Christian Coalition, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Regent University for the purposes of renewing the culture rather than hastening the end of the world.

One of the most prominent of the eschatology popularizers was Hal Lindsey. Initially as a result of his book The Late Great Planet Earth, this Dallas Theological Seminary graduate was able to present the dispensationalist perspective before evidentially non-Evangelical venues such as Congress, the State Department, and the Pentagon. Lindsey remained true enough to his Dallas Theological Seminary training to stay just on the right side of the boundary of theological respectability even though he has played it quite close to the edge at times. For example, as a result of the speculative chronologies utilized by Lindsey in his publication Planet Earth 2000 AD, Lindsey had to clarify almost to the point of backpedaling what could have been construed as an insinuation that the Rapture was going to occur sometime around 1988. Lindsey qualified his position by pointing out the qualifiers stated in his text and that the cosmic countdown might not have commenced with the establishment of Israel in 1948 but rather with the taking of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War along with modifying a Biblical generation from forty to one hundred years. In so doing, Lindsey no doubt hoped to push the pending scrutiny to a time when he himself would not care so much about being proven wrong.

The further one got from respectable academia and ministries that valued credible reputation over short term book and video sales, the more likely one was to stumble upon conspicuous date setters. For example, Edgar Whisenant could not have been more explicit in the date he set in the book titled 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be In 1988 (Abanes, 93). Charles Taylor has promoted so many dates for the beginning of the end that he could make a Jehovah's Witness shake their head in astonishment.

Despite differences in time and temperament, most within the contemporary Evangelical prophecy community share a number of similar assumptions. First, the world as we know it is tottering on the brink of destructive cataclysm. Once believers are taken from the world in the Rapture, little will prevent a series of horrors from transpiring in quick succession. Interpreters are divided as to whether these will be triggered initially by some sort of nuclear attack through which God brings about His sanctioned prophetic unfolding through the actions of man or by more direct supernatural manifestions. Second, most dispensationalists are in agreement that the fuse to ignite the conflagration of End Time events is the reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East. A number of eschatologists believe that this geopolitical contention will eventually result in Word War III with Russia invading from the north as believed foretold in Ezekiel and China invading from the east as described in the Book of Revelation with an army possibly numbering at one million.

Along with this theme of global war traced to tensions over Israel will be other actors on the world stage agitating against Israel once the Church is taken up to Heaven. Leading this conspiracy will be none other than the Antichrist. Though his nature and intentions are described in detail throughout the text of Scripture, the path that he will take to achieve power and his exact identity are not things the Holy Spirit deemed appropriate for believers to know prior to the exact time of the End.

Yet a number of well-intentioned but misguided eschatologists could not resist playing what amounted to pin the tail on the Antichrist in terms of enthusiastically making guesses as to the exact identity of the world's system final tyrant. For example, given his Jewish background and position as a preeminent diplomat, Henry Kissinger was often a popular choice. Because of a birthmark that resembled a head wound bringing to mind one particular prophecy and the role he played for seeming to lessen the threat played by Russia, some speculated that the Beast might be Mikhail Gorbachev. Others even wondered if John F. Kennedy would rise from the dead after three days following his assassination that shocked the world in the early 1960's.

Despite the intense ongoing debate as to the identity of this looming prince of darkness among those that believe, there is much more agreement as to the nature of his agenda. Foremost, the Antichrist will be the focal point of worship of a system that will for a short time seemingly control and mesmerize the entire world. From Revelation 13, it is declared that this will be accomplished by merging the religious, economic, and political spheres of existence. Those unwilling to pledge a degree of loyalty crossing the boundary of patriotism into the territory of devoted worship will be denied the Mark of the Beast believed to be some form of electronic currency and identification, ultimately resulting in the execution of dissidents unwilling to comply.

Isaiah 55:11 assures that the Word of God does not come back void. Though not as many accept the truth of the Biblical message as sincere believers would like in terms of prophecy, there are a significant number today aware the world is racing ever closer to the conclusion of all things. It is hoped that this awareness would inspire the individual to seek the free gift of salvation found nowhere but in Christ and His completed work. Unfortunately, given the extent to which sin has permeated the human heart and mind, there also exists a disturbing number of individuals that distort this knowledge of the End Times in order to trap the unsuspecting in tighter and tighter forms of spiritual bondage.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Star Wars Miniseries Construed As Cautionary Morality Tale

The Star Wars series “Andor” is being marketed as an allegory regarding the Trump Presidency in regards to the loss of individual rights.

The series is purported to chronicle the rise of the Rebel Alliance in opposition to the Galactic Empire. 

So apparently insurrections against certain forms of authority are to be celebrated while so roundly condemned in regards to others as to equate the simple asking of questions with acts of terrorism. 

The truly discerning find themselves forced to ask is the curtailment of human liberties something confined solely to the Trump Administration?

  If anything, during the worst phases of the Plague, at least he as president at the time made an attempt to recognize the truth that rights endowed by the Creator could not legitimately be infringed upon simply because technocrats declared some kind of emergency.

  If we are to see the realities of our world reflected in the beloved space opera, if anything it would seem contemporary Democrats mirror the sort of authoritarian tendencies embodied by the Galactic Empire. 

Sounding akin to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, or the typical MSNBC pundit, Palpatine from the rostrum of his legislative chamber assured the assembled just how much he loved democracy with the measures implemented in support of the noble aspirations of security and stability. 

It was not Donald Trump that threatened to destroy the livelihoods of those refusing to acquiesce to invasive pharmaceutical therapies and insinuated that those reluctant to conceal their visages ironically like some sort of Star Wars stormtrooper were unpatriotic subversives. 

Foremost among those harping the Trumpian parallels to be considered in this iteration of the Star Wars narrative was series cast member Fiona Shaw. 

But viewers should not come to the conclusion that this thespian is sensitive to the subtle dangers of the encroaching tyranny all around us. 

Instead she remarked that the social distancing imposed during the Lockdown that destroyed mental health to the point of addiction and suicide for a disturbing number would only result in creativity an self-improvement.

She assured the United Press International we would emerge into a new world in which we would never be the same.  

As a point of disconcerting trivia, perhaps it should be pointed out that the policy agenda Palpatine conspired to implement over the course of the Star Wars saga was titled none other than that of “the New Order”.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 6

  The Great Disappointment served as a warning that an interpretative eschatological system needed to be formulated that incorporated what many believed to be the portion of divine revelation yet to be fulfilled while protecting those holding to these truths from falling into the hysteria and panic that can easily grip the minds of those realizing that the present age is soon coming to an end when considered in the light of eternity's time table. Such balance, for the most part, was to be found in classical dispensationalism.

Classic dispensationalism holds that God deals with His people and the world in specific ways at particular points in history. The way in which He dealt with Israel during the Age of Law was not the way He deals with the Church during the Age of Grace. As such, promises distinctively made with Israel do not necessarily apply to the Church.
In terms of the End Times, dispensationalism contends that these will begin to conclude when Christ removes those that believe --- both the living and the dead --- bodily to Heaven. Following this act or shortly thereafter, the Tribulation period will commence in which a number of judgments as described in prophetic portions of Scripture such as the Book of Revelation begin to take place and the forces of evil gain the upper hand more so than previously as the Holy Spirit will no longer be as engaged in the ministry of restraint. This will culminate with the Antichrist ruling openly from the Temple in Jerusalem. This horror will not be resolved until Christ returns in triumph at the Battle of Armageddon to usher in the millennial kingdom.
Though echoing a number of the same themes, dispensationalism possessed a number of differences from the premillennialism that resulted in the Great Disappointment. The Millerites professed an historicist premillennialism whereas the Darbyites advocated a futurist premillennialism. In historicist premillennialism, the eschatological interpreter equates certain events already having transpired in church history with particular symbols depicted in prophetic Biblical passages.
Doing so, Kyle points out, “...locks the interpreter into millennial arithmetic and makes date setting an irresistible temptation (193).” Futurist premillennialism is much more fluid and adaptable to events as they unfold. For the only event that this system of prophetic interpretation insists with absolute certainty must take place next is the Rapture. Any other ordering would destroy this interpretative chronology entirely.
Though not as wedded to particular prophetic scenarios to the same degree as historical premillennialism, that has not prevented dispensationalists from speculating until their hearts are content as to how they think God will wrap up history as we know it. If anything, such analytical prognostication has become a very lucrative theological cottage industry over the course of the past century. Dispensationalism in one form or another became the most pervasive prophetic outlook throughout what would become conservative Evangelicalism. This was the result of a number of impressively insightful Bible scholars and shrewd ecclesiastical administrators that utilized the emerging technologies at their disposal to convince the Christian public just how prescient this prophetic school of thought was in understanding unfolding events.
Dispensationalism came to America with the itinerant ministry of John Nelson Darby where he not only won a significant number of minds among Baptists but also interestingly Presbyterians (Kyle, 104). The cause of early dispensationalism was also helped by Scotland Yard investigator Sir Robert Andrew in the book The Coming Prince. However, dispensationalism probably received its greatest boost from the ministry of Dwight L. Moody.
Though Moody is remembered as a preeminent revivalist in general, he could also be as commemorated for the role he played in spreading pretribulational, premillennialism in particular. Foremostly, this was accomplished through the establishment of Bible institutes such as the eponymous Moody Bible Institute and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA) which taught this interpretative framework to aspiring pastors and Bible teachers. Yet another phenomena reinforcing these teachings were prophecy conferences held between 1875 and 1900 where those drawn to the futurist premillennial perspective could come together and forge relationships and alliances for the struggle that loomed on the horizon.
Another tool that contributed to the dissemination of the dispensational perspective was The Scofield Reference Bible. Converted while in prison serving a sentence for forgery, Cyrus Scofield went on to live a commendable Christian life as a Congregational pastor, author, Bible institute instructor under Moody's auspices, and prophecy conference speaker. His magnum opus was none other than the reference Bible that bore his name. For better or worse, Scofield placed his notes on the same page as the Biblical text. Whether intentional or not, this created in the minds of unsuspecting readers the impression that the interpretation of the text was nearly as inspired as the text the notes were reflecting upon.
Often nothing can cement a relationship like the threat posed by a common enemy. To believers living in the twenty-first century, it might come as a surprise that initially many Evangelicals did not necessarily hold to the idea of the Rapture as held by dispensationalist theologians. However, despite any misgivings about the Dispensationalists, like the Evangelicals they at least held to essential Christian doctrine. That was more than could be said of the religious liberalism or Modernism which seemed to be on the rise with its embrace of Darwinism, the social gospel, and skepticism of the traditional understanding of doctrines such as the divinity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, and inerrancy of Scripture. As the believing remnant galvanized around a series of tractates called The Fundamentals, the Evangelicals decided to give the Dispensationalists a fair hearing, and in a number of instances, adopted the prophetic framework as their own.
Pivotal to Darbyite dispensationalism was the idea that the Jewish people would return to Israel and that a European empire corresponding to a revived Roman would dominate world affairs in the final days. To those living here in the early twenty-first century, news of Israel regularly tops global headlines. However, such was not so much the case when eschatologists of the late 1800's began making speculative assertions regarding such.
Christians began to take notice when world events started to align broadly with the claims of this prophetic school of thought. To many, the bloodshed and destruction of the Great War (known more commonly now as World War I) no doubt seemed like the Battle of Armageddon. The Balfour Declaration was tacit recognition on the part of the elites that oversee international affairs that the Jews would ndeed return to inhabit the land of their ancestors. Russia falling to the evils of Communism with its belligerent intent to foment revolution around the world, to those steeped in Scripture, brought to mind the kingdom of the north and its fearsome ruler predicted in the Book of Ezekiel. The League of Nations no doubt echoed in the minds embracing this interpretative methodology the world government which would emanate outward from the Antichrist's European power base to eventually incorporate the entire planet for at least a short wile.
Yet unlike the Millerites before it, the dispensationalist system was flexible enough that it could readjust itself when certain predictions did not necessarily unfold as foretold. If one looked closely enough at the rhetorical fine print, one would no doubt occasionally spot qualifiers such as “this could be” or “things look like”. For example, if it looked like despite the hardships of the Great War that the world was not necessarily coming to an end, low and behold, who was that little big mouth in Italy or the even more obnoxious one with the silly mustache in Germany? Could one of those be the Antichrist that Scripture warned about? And when that did not pan out, observant analysts could reflect upon transpiring events and conclude that the ones thought to be the particular time of troubles described in Holy Writ were rather instead the times leading up to those times by laying the foundations for such sorrows.
By Frederick Meekins
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Kirsch, Jonathan. A History Of The End Of The World: How The Most Controversial Book In The Bible Changed The Course Of Western Civilization. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006.
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