"The Ringmaster Thinks the Bible Will Save Him in November" by outtacontext is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Many Christians in the USA claim that their country was founded on Christian principles and freedom; that America is "exceptional", a "city on a hill", a "light to the world" and an example of democracy that other nations should follow. And because it is a special case, it is not to be found in bible prophecy, since the powers described there are violent and in opposition to Christ's Kingdom. We will examine these claims in light of history and the biblical text.
Is America an example of freedom and democracy for the world?
Democracy means the government is elected by the people and for the people. In a democracy then, you would expect the people's needs and wishes to be addressed by its government. In the USA, there are only two relevant political parties, by design: the Democrats and the Republicans. Both are largely controlled by business interests, and when it comes to foreign policy, there is little disagreement between them: they both support a military which has over 800 bases worldwide and is currently meddling in dozens of countries. Its 'defense' budget is greater than the next ten countries combined. Although polls show that most Americans want universal medical, affordable education, climate change to be addressed, the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, and a limit on foreign wars and meddling, they are largely ignored by those that rule the country--whether Democrat or Republican. As far as "spreading democracy", William Blum, in Killing Hope, documents over 55 countries where the USA has attempted "regime change"--even among those that were democratically elected! We understand that the real goal was never to spread democracy but to secure foreign resources and advance America's global control over other countries. In our time, we see in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries where the USA has meddled being reduced to ruble and misery. America is not a democracy and not a light to the world. It is ruled by greedy, violent billionaires and oligarchs primarily for their own benefit. It is not Christian either--if Christian means obeying Jesus' teachings. These are lies.
Is America in Bible prophecy?
Since we now know that America is no different than other empires in history, can it be found in bible prophecy? Let's have a look at Revelation 13. It begins with the dragon, Satan, conjuring up a beast from the sea, which "opened his mouth in blasphemies against God" (v6) and makes "war with the saints to overcome them" (v7). This power is the Papacy, which arose after the destruction of Imperial Rome in the 5th century and persecuted Christians who did not bow down to its authority. It claimed to be the "Vicar of Christ", the unique representative of Jesus, which is blasphemous. The French Revolution, however, ended Papacy's power, as the republican form of government replaced monarchies across Europe. In verse 11, another power arises with "two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon". Two horns mean two constituent powers, as the two horns of the Ram in the book of Daniel represented Medea and Persia. The lamb's two horns represent Britain and America--another duel world power. Britain at first was the dominant power, as Medea was in Daniel's ram, but America would grow to eclipse Britain, as Persia did with respect to Medea.
Both Britain and America claim to be Christian powers, but as noted above, this is a lie (of course there are sincere Christians living in these countries, but we speak here of the country as a whole and its governing policies). They "speak as a dragon". In other words the power behind them is Satan, not God. This Lamb Beast "exercises all the authority of the first beast [Papacy] in his presence" (v12). The Lamb Beast arises as Papacy declines, becomes the new world power, and "will do as he pleases" (Dan 11:36). This is the same phrase that identifies first Greece (v3), then Rome (v16) as global superpowers in Daniel Chapter 11. Thus the new superpower is Anglo-America. This Lamb Beast makes "fire come down out of heaven" (v13); he will be superior in air power as Britain was on the seas. Its national anthem speaks of "rocket's red glare" and "bombs bursting in air" as a source of pride, and an identifying attribute. It is the only power to have used nuclear weapons when it bombed the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. It makes "an image to the beast" (v14); that is, the Papacy. It was Britain who first created the Church of England as an "image"--that is, it looked very similar to the Papacy, complete with incense, an altar, holy water, and priests directing the service. America would create its own church: the white evangelical church, which currently is in a corrupt relationship with the Republican Party. He "causes all, the small and the great...to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark." You may have heard on the news, various American politicians threatening sanctions against countries they don't like. America is in the unique position of controlling SWIFT, the international banking settlements system, as well as the US dollar, which is the international standard currency, and can impose sanctions on any country or individual that it wants to. Currently no other country can do this. America has ruined the economies of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, and many others which did not obey its orders.
The last verse is presented as a puzzle. "the number [of the beast] is that of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" (v12). Six in the bible means sinful and imperfect. Six hundred and sixty-six then, is an excessively sinful and imperfect man. I have argued elsewhere that the first emergence of this 666 man was the period of Stuart Absolutism, from 1603-1648 in Britain. This example was given so we would recognize the final 666 man--this time in America, the other horn of the Lamb Beast. I believe this period began with the election of Ronald Reagan, who partnered with the white evangelical church to achieve power in 1981. The latest version was Donald Trump, president from 2016-2020. Whether or not he or someone like him returns to power in 2024 is an open question. But the main point here is we are alerted that the 666 man is in operation during our time. We saw in Trump's administration, a total subservience to his whims and wants and a complete disregard for the rule of law, for truth, and for governmental and societal norms. Even now, although out of office, the Republican Party is groveling before him as if he was a king. They have no other policy but to do his will. Those that are principled conservatives are pushed out. And the white evangelical church and its pastors are deeply embedded. In Donald Trump, his white evangelical church, a few billionaires, and the Republican Party, you have fascism waiting to replace democracy. They know the demographics are against them, so they must go after democracy itself if they are to achieve power. It is a very dangerous and frightening time. Let us hope that the Lord prevents them from ever achieving power.
What is the future of America?
I believe we are now in the period described by Daniel in Chapter 11 verses 40-45, where America and Britain, along with their allies, represent the "King of the North". The King of the South then, are Muslim countries in opposition. America and Britain were able to conquer much of the Middle East, and divide up the spoils--mostly oil reserves--among themselves. America has started several wars in the Middle East, and ruined many countries in its quest to rule the world. However, in our time, its power is waning and being challenged by Russia, China, Iran, and other countries. "He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him" (v45). This describes the modern site of the City of Jerusalem. President Trump, against all practical advice, moved the US Embassy, the modern equivalent of a "royal pavilion" to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in 2018. [Update: in October of 2022, PM Truss of Britain, the other horn of the Lamb Beast, announced her intention of moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem as well.] The fact that "no one will help him" signifies that America has lost its friends in the world. We see today this fact, as America has insulted and double crossed allies and enemies alike. No one is going to help America now.
In Revelation 19:20, we see the Lamb Beast identified with the False Prophet, which is thrown into the lake of fire, along with the Beast, signifying their complete destruction. A false prophet in scripture is someone claiming to speak for God, but who tells the political leaders what they want to hear, and who gets rewarded by these powers for their favorable prophecies. The white evangelical church is America is just such a false prophet. It claimed that Trump was "anointed by God" and that he would "make America great again." These are obviously lies. Trump's behavior is in opposition to Jesus' teachings and America continues its decline. The Beast represents the political system. What this prophecy is telling us is that the false church, along with the political system that partnered with it, will be destroyed as punishment.
On a larger scale, the Beast with the ten horns could represent Europe and the West in general, led by America, the now dominant power of the Lamb Beast. America then takes up the False Prophet role by preaching about freedom and democracy publicly, but privately plotting the downfall of rival powers through any means necessary.
What should Christians do?
Christians must "get out of Babylon" if we do not want to share in her punishments (Revelation 18:4). In practical terms, it means leaving churches that have compromised with the political system, and leaving political parties that claim to be Christian. Jesus does not have a political party. He has a Kingdom, and its domain is the entire cosmos. Christians must reject violence, racism, nationalism, and materialism, and give their exclusive loyalty to King Jesus and his Kingdom--which is "no part of this world" (John 18:36).