As one political commentator observed this week, “Clearly, the West is in serious trouble.” I read it this way – clearly, the modern-day nations of Israel are in serious trouble! We, as God’s people, are being prepared to work with Christ in serving humanity as it crawls out from under a time that has never been before. Jeremiah calls it the time of Jacob’s trouble. What do we understand about this very serious trouble?
There is a basic philosophical notion that if humanity could be unshackled from constraints of past thinking (i.e., Enlightenment and Modernity), then man could progress to a state of freedom and happiness. The philosophy goes that the past is filled with misery caused by the restrictive thinking of superstition and religion, and we need to be set free. In short, history is seen as “… a source of myth, ideology, and prejudice … History is a creature of the modern Western nations; as such, it is said to ‘oppress’ Third World peoples and those from other cultures. History has no reality” (Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences, pg. 63). History is seen in the context of oppression, restricting man’s ability of self-expression.
Consider these next comments in the light of current affairs. “Postmodernism implies a shattering of innocent confidence in the capacity of the self to control its own destiny. It signals a loss of trust in global strategies of social planning and in universal criteria of rationality. It often carries with it emotional by-products of anger, alienation, anxiety … racism and sexism … At all events, blame, accusation, and hostility come to absorb the concerns of the postmodern self. A breakdown of trust in virtually all governments, whether democratically elected or not, has become a hallmark of the mid-1990’s” (Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self, pg. 12, 131).
If you come to believe the past has caused so much of the troubled thinking of today, then you have to uncouple your thinking from history. This will result in rewriting history.
The point of these quotes is that they were published some two and one-half decades ago. So, the writing has been on the wall and of all people on earth, we should have read the writing with understanding and undertaken preparations for the onslaught that has descended upon our nations. For example, the comment about the breakdown of trust in virtually all government coincides perfectly with the destruction of the government of God within the Church following the death of Mr. Armstrong. How many members made the correlation? It has been coming for quite a while, and all that has changed in recent times is the speed at which it is all advancing.
One historical anchor point that is now under attack is the history of the Royal Family of Britain. Regardless of the conduct of the individuals making up that family, the Queen sits upon a throne that ties the history of Britain to the throne of David and links it to the throne Christ will occupy when He returns. It is a very important linkage in understanding who the British people are and the rulership of the soon-coming Kingdom of God when Christ will rule all nations.
One important preparation we can undertake is to stay rooted and grounded in the history God has revealed to us. History is very important in understanding God’s plan for mankind. This understanding provides a strong anchor for us in turbulent times.
Have you considered the construction of the Bible from the point of view of the part history plays?
It has been estimated that the Bible is 77% Old Testament and 23% New Testament. Further, there are 283 direct quotations in the New Testament taken from the Old Testament. When allusions are counted, the number approaches 900. It is very clear that the history of the Old Testament is very much a part of the New Testament. In fact, we could say that the New Testament stands on the foundation of the Old Testament. It is a continuation and not a separate work. Paul is very good at bringing Old Testament statements to life as spiritual principles for us to inculcate.
Take, for example, the history of the exodus from Egypt. At this time of year, we read and rehearse this history and see it as the foundation of God calling His people out of the bondage of sin, through the Red Sea of baptism on into a new covenant relationship with Him. A spiritual journey made very understandable by the physical journey of our forefathers.
Of course, Satan knows this important connection and has convinced religions to abandon the Old Testament as irrelevant to “Christians” today. The history of Israel and the law, which is vitally important to man’s relationship with God, “has no reality” today. Without it, man will never have a relationship with God.
With God’s Spirit and His revealed Word (history), we should be ahead of the curve. Every aspect of Old Testament prophecy should have an impact on what we are doing now. Read the writing on the wall and be prepared.