World history is a matter of two elements:
Mankind rebelling against God, and
God reaching out in mercy and reconciliation to all who would humble themselves.
Every event in time relates to one of these two elements. There is nothing neutral. World history is the unfolding of God's sovereign purposes and plans in spite of the evil intentions of men and fallen angels.
Jesus Christ is the Lord of history. I agree with the cliché: it is “His Story”.
To most people “history” is an academic discipline where scholars research documents and other evidence to compile an account of past events. This, of course, is a valid endeavor. Unfortunately, historians will always write based upon their own philosophies and presumptions about the nature of reality. Their “history” will always be written in the context of their own interpretations. So, when reading history books or watching historical movies or TV programs, a person should always “step back” and consider the world view, the agenda of the writer, the producer, the publisher. Is the presentation really factual? And if the facts presented are accurate, is the interpretation of that history valid, or are the conclusions true?
From a human point of view, many things about history will be unclear “gray areas”, open to reasonable debate. But with God there are no gray areas, no uncertainties. We ought to want to view history from God’s perspective and with his understanding, as much as he wants to allow us.
History written and fed to the common folk is often described as if it were a chain of random events and spontaneous uprisings of the masses. However, the masses never do anything by themselves, they are always provoked and manipulated to act. A worldly historian writing for the masses mentions presidents, prime ministers, dictators, congresses, and parliaments but rarely will refer to the real powers behind the event, the actual “rulers”.
While popular history is often portrayed as a chain of random events, “History” for many is actually a form of mystical idolatry. People worship history. The history of the Cosmos. The history of the planet. The history of dinosaurs. The history of “human origins”. The history of ancient peoples. The history of civilization. The history of Science. Their own Genealogies. The history of their own tribe. They worship themselves. Worldly history is man’s own idol unto himself.
An idolatry of history that influences people far more than most realize is the “Philosophy of History” promoted by the German philosopher, G.W.F Hegel (1770-1831). Hegel taught that “history” is the onward and upward progression towards perfection: “Progressive Realization of Spirit”. Hegelian philosophy is the basis for Marxism, Nazism, Fascism, and Western “progressive” philosophies and social engineering. Many of the most influential theologians at the turn of the last century (1900) were Hegelian.
True history, as in the actual events that have happened, can only be understood from a Biblical perspective. And the future unfolding of world history can only be understood through the Word of God.
The initiation of events in world history must be understood on three levels:
1. The Sovereignty of God
2. The purposes of Satan and his Demons
3. The plans of human rulers.
The rich and the powerful among humans plan and execute their plans to achieve their own ends. They often coerce, deceive, and manipulate… working “both sides” where possible in order to ensure the outcome of events. Pharaohs, Caesars, Emperors, Popes, Kings, Bankers, the Super Rich, the Family Dynasties, Global Corporation CEOs and directors, the Brotherhoods, the Clergy, the Pharisees, the Chieftains, the Shamans, and all other forms of political, economic, and religious rulers have worked their purposes in human history.
Satan is the god of this world, the prince of this world, and the deceiver of the whole world. Lucifer and his demons have their agenda. They work directly in the lives of humans and they work through the lives of humans. All humans who are not children of God through Jesus are enemies of God and are, therefore, in rebellion against God. All enemies of God are instruments of Satan’s agenda of rebellion. The vast majority of the rulers and the powerful are enemies of God. They work Satan’s agenda: some unknowingly and some with full knowledge of who they work for.
But praise be to God for the Sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ over the unfolding of world history! In spite of the evil intentions of men and fallen angels, God works his purposes for His Glory and our good!
Joseph’s brothers thought they were working their agenda. Pharaoh thought he was working his agenda. Caesar thought he was working his agenda. The Pharisees thought they were working their agenda. Judas thought he was working his agenda. But God works his purposes through men and in spite of men, and in spite of the demons who inspire men. Romans 8:28 is always true.
The reason God created humans and ALL of human history is simply a matter of:
1. God’s Glory and his desiring our fellowship.
2. Humans rebelling against God.
3. God demonstrating his character and reaching out in grace, mercy, and reconciliation through Jesus Christ.
4. God judging the nations and destroying the evil world system.
Every event either promotes rebellion against God or draws people closer to God. There is nothing neutral.
People are deceived to see history as driven by chance: that is, random and without purpose. Or they are deceived into seeing history as being driven by impersonal forces such as Karma or Hegel’s Realization of Spirit. Or even when they acknowledge the “providence of God” or “Christianity” people are deceived into visions of onward and upward to perfection, “heaven on earth”, utopia. As if men can perfect society. As if rulers can create a wonderful New Order for the Ages, a New World Order, a New Age of peace and harmony, through education, mysticism, philosophy, imagination, creativity, innovation, process improvement, tolerance and unity. As if “the Church” will build a global system of peace through cultural and moral crusades and through global programs and global “revival” and usher in the “Millennium”.
But God in his Word says no to these visions of men. He said no to Adam and Eve in the Garden. He said no to the World System in the time of Noah. He said no to the World System at the Tower of Babel. He said no to Apostate Israel. He will say no to the Apostate Church and to its Counterfeit Christ who will rule over a rebellious One World Political, Economic, and Religious System.
Only when our Lord Jesus Christ stands on the Mount of Olives will this present World System and its rebellion be brought to an end. Only then will the true Millennium begin.
As history unfolds, our only hope has always been to surrender to the God who created us and who loves us and who died to rescue us, who rose again, and is coming back soon.
God’s Word outlines the entire history of the Universe for us. He has chosen to give us a glimpse of his perspective: from Creation in Genesis to New Heaven and New Earth in Revelation.
I exhort followers of Jesus to not be taken in by the World’s presentation of history but to see history as God has outlined for us in his Word.