Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 05 September 2013


By Jim Jordal

Apocalypse isn’t always what you think! It’s usually perceived as a frightening, end-of-the-world term meaning terror, destruction, judgment, and world chaos during the Great Tribulation preparatory to the Second Coming of Christ. But apocalypse also means a shattering, transforming breakthrough in human perceptions; a "lifting of the veil" of ignorance, injustice and oppression as new light or revelation from God infuses old, seemingly hopeless human structures and systems. It implies beginnings as well as endings, and renewed hope rather than fearful desperation. It is good, not evil. It is to be celebrated and propagated, not resisted and hidden.

We live in apocalyptic times. Each day brings new reports of almost incomprehensible violence, chaos, corruption, oppression, and injustice. It’s as if the nations are rabid dogs attacking anything and everything because of a deep-seated madness or malaise thus far unknown in human history. The prophet Jeremiah described it thusly: "the nations have drunken of her wine (the systems and policies of Babylon); therefore the nations are mad" (Jer. 51:7b).

But each day also brings renewed hope as astounding breakthroughs occur in science, technology, and communication; but not in how to maintain peace among differing political, social, and economic groups. It’s the glue holding society together that’s breaking down, not our ability to communicate or transfer information.

One apocalyptic understanding we need now is that there is a Divine purpose behind the current distress of nations and worldwide literal shaking of the earth by storm, fire, flood, and other natural disaster. Oppressive world economic, political, and social systems standing in opposition to God and to their people are being shaken to pieces. From the wreckage of the old will rise new systems and institutions designed by God for human betterment. As the prophet Isaiah said: The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations (Isa. 14:24-26 KJV).

The Assyrian mentioned above refers to the Babylonian Empire, perennial enemy of God’s people. But Assyrian domination and oppression was never completely removed from God’s people. When the Babylonian Empire fell to the Persians, the existing system of financial oppression merely transferred to a new host, as it has done throughout history. If you wish to view it today you need only to look at the banking empires of Wall Street and other financial capitals of the earth. They today do the same things to our people that Babylon of old did to God’s people then. Only the names have changed; the operations remain similar.

So God promises to remove the Babylonian yoke from the necks of his people and remove his burden from our shoulders. "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations." That is an apocalyptic statement revealing what all this shaking is about: the deliverance of God’s people from the yoke of bondage under unscriptural and oppressive world financial and political systems.

Our purpose today should not be to "shore up" the system to prevent its collapse. Its collapse is a certainty because it is not fit to enter the coming Kingdom of God on Earth. It controls everything through artificial scarcity, fear, propaganda, and oppression. Revelation tells us to "come out of her my people, lest you be partakers in her sins." You cannot literally depart from Babylon because you are tied to the financial system for your food, clothing and shelter. But you can come out spiritually by refusing to accept the values and goals of the consumer society. God will take care of the rest.