In Part 1 of these essays, we considered the book The Fourth Turning, a secular work that examines the cyclical periods of history, thus providing a framework for projecting the next era that America faces. From every indication, based on this worldview, we have entered that period known as the Fourth Turning, one characterized by great chaos and confusion that leads to an unexpected climax of volcanic proportions.
Here in Part 2 of this mashup of ideas in which we examine America’s future, I want to bring The Unseen Realm by Dr. Michael S. Heiser into the picture. In previous articles on this website, I’ve referenced this book, loving it because it introduced me to a completely different understanding of God’s supernatural work in the world and what He intends for us (His family!) beyond what we currently know and experience in this world.
The Unseen Realm in large measure discusses the implications of Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and Psalm 82. The passage in Deuteronomy outlines how God placed His divine sons over the nations of the earth after He scattered humanity in the Tower of Babel incident (Genesis 11). Resulting from that, He chose Israel as His special people—His inheritance.
Unfortunately, a sin nature is not confined to humans. God gave free will to His heavenly host, the multitude of divine beings that are considered the sons of God. We know about Satan, one of God’s sons, and his rebellion that first shows up in the garden with Adam and Eve. What we typically don’t consider is Satan’s cohort, his divine brothers, i.e. those who likewise rebelled against the sovereign rule of God.
Psalm 82 provides a picture of the disobedience of those who served in God’s divine council and decided to go their own way. These divine sons were the ones we see in Deuteronomy placed over the nations to rule according to the way of God. Instead, they became gods in their own eyes and ruled unjustly far from how the One true God intended. The psalm condemns them for their wickedness and decrees their eternal fate: they will die like mere men.
As a reminder, we see this dynamic in action when the angel Gabriel came to Daniel in response to his prayers, but was delayed for twenty-one days by the Prince of Persia. Michael, the Prince of Israel, had to help him break through whatever barriers this powerful, rebellious prince had erected. Gabriel also noted that the Prince of Greece would likewise fight against them alongside the Persian prince. (Daniel 10)
From this I have an observation and a question. It appears from these Old Testament chronicles that most of God’s divine sons placed over the nations of the earth, except for Michael in Israel, became rebellious. It’s not a stretch to assume that this situation repeated itself through the years as more nations emerged and the known world became larger. Maybe God placed each of these sons territorially around the world in preparation for future nations. All we have to do is look at the nations comprising the earth to see the negative influence of these anti-God beings. From this I ask: What’s up with the United States?
America has been a special country since our inception, and there’s little doubt that God has blessed us immensely. We’ve had many people who loved and served God. We’ve generally blessed Israel and not cursed her—that’s huge! He in turn has been gracious to us. Looking at this through the spiritual lens of Deuteronomy 32, we must have had a divine son of God placed over us who was faithful to Him. This son would have shepherded us in such a way that we predominantly followed God and didn’t turn from Him in the way of other nations errantly guided by disobedient sons. God’s hand was upon this country. His grace and favor have been greater to us than with any other nation of the earth besides Israel. Yet…
We’ve had our ups and downs, our spiritual fervor and lack of it, times of outright blessing and difficult, challenging periods when people doubtless wondered if God was still with us. In this context of spiritual overseers directing the course of every nation on the earth, how does all this fit? Why have some times in America’s history been better than others? What is it that influences the favor of God shining upon us versus some of the dark periods we’ve experienced?
The one thing that’s been a hallmark of this nation is our overall economic prosperity and our resiliency when threatened. Part of that has been our melting pot characteristic where all who came to our shores wanted to participate in the American Dream. That is perhaps the greatest change in our cultural makeup. Immigrants come here for the dream, but too many of them now want to tear it down, right alongside those who have always been here but have been taught disillusionment by those who hate. What do they hate? Themselves, others, this nation, God.
This has led us to a place where it may very well be that God has removed His hand of blessing from us. We have followed in the footsteps of Israel with idolatry and apostasy. Scripture shows us definitively what happens when a nation goes too far down that path. We’re there. We’re on the brink of utter destruction even as Israel experienced it because of our wholesale turning from God.
Whereas before, we could call ourselves a Christian nation, I don’t think we can do that anymore. When followers of Wicca outnumber Presbyterians, admittedly a mainstream church that has strayed far from Biblical doctrine; when the number of Nones, i.e. those who profess to follow no religion, is rising exponentially; and when occult / New Age is completely infiltrating the church, then you can bet God is going to bring His judgment down upon us, just like with his unfaithful wife, Israel. His patience with this kind of nonsense isn’t unlimited.
The question goes back to how this works from the Deuteronomy 32 paradigm. Is the “god” that God originally placed over our nation now lukewarm, which means that we as a people are that way? Has this ruling son been compromised in his ruling court by rebellious insiders? This would be akin to the Deep State infiltration into the Trump Administration. Has this ruling son turned completely in the way of his brothers with only the prayers of the remnant church keeping complete lawlessness at bay? Or is it some combination of all these ideas, and God is simply staying the coming destruction to the frustration of those rebellious beings that want us to turn fully from Him?
Questioning the goings-on in the supernatural realm is, admittedly, an exercise similar to looking in a mirror and thinking that we can see through it to discern what’s happening in another part of the world. However, the unseen realm is real. God put it into play when He placed His sons as rulers over the nations. There is an immense spiritual battle.
In Part 3 of this exercise, we’ll see if we can dive a little deeper by examining this spiritual situation from the perspective of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness.