Posted on Thursday, 28 July, 2011 | 2 comments
Columnist: Tammy A. Branom
Most people are of the notion that when a society or civilization is overtaken by an invading force that the intruders are bad or wrong. Germany--bad. Russia--bad. Mongols--bad. Nubians--bad. Americans--bad. So on and so forth. Which brings me to a takeover that many do not see as an invasion at all. However, if viewed from a military standpoint that is exactly what it is. This overwhelming conquest is detailed in the Christian Book of Revelation. God’s return. Historicists believe it is John’s recording of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
I decided that by examining past and present wars with the passages in Revelation, I could apply a militant view to what most religious believers uphold to be a wonderful thing that will happen. I applied both older and modern equipment and tactics to see how the scriptures of the King James Version of the Christian bible would fit with armies beyond the Roman Empire.
“…he cometh with clouds.” (Rev. 1: 7) Great dust clouds that hordes of warring men created comes to mind. Or the dust swarming over galloping horses. More modern are the tanks and trucks rolling in over the dirt roads I’ve seen in every war video.
“…a great voice, as of a trumpet.” (Rev. 1: 10) A megaphone or loud speaker? Music beating with the steps of soldiers? Rock ‘n’ roll blaring from a speaker?
“…I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending…” (Rev. 1: 8) The beginning of the war and the end to freedom of humans.
“…seven golden candlesticks;” (Rev. 1: 12) Cannons?
“And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” (Rev. 1: 13) A man in a jumpsuit? Military uniform for ease of movement? However, as the next passages (Rev. 1: 14-16) describe “the man,” it is as though the description is of something else. Maybe something shaped like a man, but it is equipment. A “Trojan horse” of sorts. The seven stars for seven candlesticks? Lighting mechanisms for the cannons?
“Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Rev. 2: 16) Bow down or the invader will show up with breathtaking speed. Then there will be a fight of words. You hear that there might be an assault. It’s ignored or simply “watched.” Then, SURPRISE! The attacker shows up, perhaps with a sneak attack or just appears in a great deal of numbers on a ridge. Words are usually exchanged either prior to battle or after as in negotiations/terms of surrender. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev. 3: 3) There is the surprise attack. Don’t know what time, and it will typically come in the dark. Those who are “spared” are those who run to the opposing force’s side. They “shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3: 4)
In Revelation, there are discussions about churches. An invading force would have its own religion or faith. Either our churches would find excuses to join with them or be dissolved. Think Christianity as far as overtaking other religions. Think of Paganism being absorbed because they did not give up their practices. Think about the repercussions of those who refused to pray to a god other than their own. I am also thinking of what the Vatican has said recently, that there IS a possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Many have asked why this announcement was made. Well, if there was to be an extraterrestrial invasion, they most likely would not believe in our God(s). If the Vatican played it smart, they would accept the invaders, welcoming them into the fold, and therefore be spared. They could even announce that “God” headed the opposing force and lead the way for the intruders to take over with a bit more ease. The Vatican would walk in white and be worthwhile to the invaders, indeed.
Focusing on military aspects, let’s look at the imagery of Revelation 6. “The noise of thunder...” (Rev. 6: 1) Soldiers marching, cannon fire, jets roaring overhead, tanks rumbling over the terrain. All quite thunderous noises. Revelation 6: 13, “…stars of heaven fell unto the earth” could be artillery fire or rifle shots. “And the heaven departed as a scroll” (Rev. 6: 14) could easily be thick smoke clouds rolling and billowing. During war, mountains and islands could be blown apart and “moved out of their places.” If there were nowhere else to hide, people would flee to the mountains and caves.
Continuing a militant view into Revelation 7, in military takeovers one does not want to destroy the earth or water. Nor does the invading force want to kill off everyone. “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God in their forehead.” (Rev. 7: 3) All one would want to do is seize control of the land. Those who oppose would be forcibly removed. Typically, those on the “hit” list would be rebels, warriors, and, in some cases, intellectuals. These would be the “sinners” or those who would cause the most problems or lead others to rebel. These would be those who have other gods, have been in war or killed, or exhibit any signs of not bowing before the new leadership.
Now, to win over the overthrown people, the invading force may provide food, water, and shelter to the war-torn. Basically, “wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7: 17)
Only a certain few would survive the takeover. A countable number. Perhaps even countable in “groups” or “families.” “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7: 4).
Revelation 8. Here’s where we witness the invading forces against those who are fighting to save us. It becomes a no-holds-barred scenario. Apparently, there’s a hell of fight. Silence followed by fire hailing down (artillery?). “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with the fire of the alter, and cast it into the earth.” (Rev. 8: 5). “Thunderings” (bombs and/or machinery?), “lightnings” (ammo fire?), and an earthquake (trembling earth?). Trees and grass are burned. Something BIG dropped into the sea. “…a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.” (Rev. 8:8) Nuke? Planes? Ships and sea life are destroyed. And a star from heaven? “…and there fell a great star from heaven.” (Rev. 8: 10) Some speculate an asteroid or comet. Maybe a nuke? Nonetheless, the water is undrinkable and kills men. Of course, with all this destruction and smoke, the sun, the moon, and the stars are blotted out. Day and night would seem the same. “…and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” (Rev. 8: 13).
So, here is the bottom line as I see it. In the book of Revelation, God returns to earth. He basically wants people to fall before Him and be (as I see it) pacifists--those who pose no problems or difficulties. No threat. Nevertheless, we humans will be humans, and we fight. God wants to save the planet and some servants as much as possible, but war is waged. There is smoke and fire, flashes and thunderous noise, as the “angels’” vials pour out vengeance and rain hell. The earth quakes beneath man’s feet. Water is cut off so humans don’t have anything to drink. Food chains are stopped. People holed up in dark corners will be bombed, burned, and/or smoked out into the open. Many burned alive. Others “slain with the sword.” And those who are left? Judged. If you are not on “the list,” you will be cast out. Into the lake of fire for you. Could this list be a census? Maybe just the local Yellow Pages? Perhaps even an ATF list? If you have a weapon, you would be a threat. Let’s face it, if your name is on a list, you could potentially be a target. And, since we all have Social Security numbers and Identification numbers, we are all “marked” in some manner.
Plagues, drought, famine. Smoke, fire, noise. All the processes and results in the ugliness of war.
To finalize my point, the book of Revelation is all about war. Maybe it is the recollection of John of the Roman Empire and his prophecies of its outcome. However, if you believe that what is told in that book is a vision of what is to come in this time or the future, and that God will indeed return, then I urge you to reread it with an insight to military takeovers. Humankind, that’s you, me, your kids, your friends, your relatives, your co-workers, are doomed. An invading force of colossal magnitude with the intention of leaving very few humans alive will overtake the world. Maybe you think this would be best because then there is a “new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Rev. 21: 1) From a war standpoint, scorched earth would indeed be passed away--dead. Depending upon the magnitude of the battle(s), the “heaven” or skyline could be “new.” Look at how 9/11 changed the skyline of New York City. Water supplies would be diminished and need to have major repairs to supply lines, so “no more sea” could be a reality. But, of course, God would freely give the necessary things to the humans who kneel before Him and “serve” Him.
Would a war-ravaged, scorched and crumbled planet actually be good and better? Will that truly be living?
If the Book of Revelation is a vision of things to come, then the weak surely will inherit the earth because the strong will be killed off, defending the rights of humans to live--against a “merciful” and “forgiving” God.Article Copyright© Tammy A. Branom - reproduced with permission.