Many Christian believe that history is circular. Empires rise and fall. Nations wax and wane. History repeats. Seasons come and go.

This view is not true. God has a purpose, so his approach to history is linear. History has a beginning and an end. And there are key transformational events along the way. The calling of Abraham, giving of the law to Moses, Jesus death resurrection and ascension, the destruction of Jerusalem are examples of transformational events leading to the fulfilment of God's ultimate purpose.

God's view of history is linear. Sin is circular. The circularity of sin can be seen in the history of Israel. When things were going well, the children of Israel would forget about God. Forgetfulness led to rebellion, which caused God to withdraw and disaster to follow. When disaster struck, the people cried out to God for help. He is merciful, so he came and rescued them. Blessings would follow, but the people would soon forget and return to the circle of sin once more.

God's purpose is leading his people from blessing to blessing, but mostly they get stuck in the circle of sin. This is why history seems to be circular, but that is not God's plan.

Christians should not assume that history is going round in circles. Rather we should be looking for the next transition even in God's plan, and make sure we are working with him to get there.

Empire and Remnant

The sins cycle begins with forgetfulness. An important aspect of the sin cycle is the pride/empire cycle.

The normal human response to crisis and disaster is to trust in political power for a solution. This half works, which produces human confidence and pride. Pride pushes for the accumulation of political power, which eventually leads to Empire. Because empires are motivated by pride, they always overstretch and eventually collapse.

The pride/empire cycle makes history seem circular, because empires seem to come and go with monotonous regularity.

God has a different view of history. He sees the collapse of empire as an opportunity for a prepared remnant to fill the gap with a different model of government that does not rely on political power and coercion. Jesus called that new government the kingdom of God.

If the church is true to its Lord, the rise of empire will lead to persecution. Perseverance through persecution will refine and prepare the remnant.

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God's people (Rev 13:10).

Persecution will produce a prepared remnant if they persevere to the end (Rev 6:9-11). The prepared church drops out of the empire cycle down to the narrow path to the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit will work through his prepared remnant to establish his kingdom on earth.

Since Jesus victory on the cross, there have been several opportunities for this to happen. The greatest was the collapse of the Roman Empire.

Unfortunately, each time an opportunity has arisen, a remnant that understood the times and was prepared did not exist. Instead, the church had become so entwined with empire that it has been swept away with it when it collapsed.

God's plan is to use the opportunities presented by the collapse of Empire to establish his Kingdom on earth, but he can only do that if he has a remnant that is ready for the task.

This explains why the book of Revelation always seems to be on the verge of fulfilment. It perfectly described the rise and fall of empires.

It also explains why Revelation has not yet been fulfilled perfectly. The opportunity has arisen several times, but the remnant has never been prepared, but like the five foolish maidens, runs out of oil when the going gets tough. So history always clicked back into another turn of the pride/empire cycle.

We are coming into a season where pride and political power are peaking again. The current empire is already overstretched. If the remnant is ready, we could escape the cycle and see the massive advance of the Kingdom of God that the scriptures promise. Our time could be the time of fulfilment, as it was many times before, when the empire of the day collapsed.

The prophetic voice in the church is stronger now than it has ever been. If the prophets fulfil their calling and teach people how to prepare, this could be the time when we escape from the cycle. Unfortunately, most prophets are so dazzled by empire that they do not understand the times, let alone how to prepare. So another remnant might miss the boat, and another opportunity will disappear into the circle of pride and empire.

This current season could still be the one where it happens. Although the power mongers are waiting in the wings, the current empire has not yet reached its peak. There is still time for the remnant to prepare. So wake up prophets and sound a clear trumpet call!

Be Prepared

Christians should be looking for the next big transformational events on God's linear plan. The most important is the collapse of political empires and their military support. The scriptures warn that religious disputes, war, economic crisis and plague produce empire (Rev 6:1-8). They also prophesy a massive collapse of empire, which is so awful that people will be turned off empire forever.

I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother (Haggai 2:21-22).
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb" (Rev 6:15-16).

If the church is true to its Lord, the rise of empire will lead to persecution (Rev 6:9-11). Perseverance through persecution will refine and prepare the remnant.

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God's people (Rev 13:10).

Persecution will produce a prepared remnant ready to work with the Holy Spirit to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

The kingdom of the world has becomes
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever (Rev 11:15).