If you feel a bit dumb, when it comes to starting a new church, do not worry because the Holy Spirit is a bit dumb too. A dumb person cannot speak. The Holy Spirit can only speak using the voice of another person or by putting thoughts into a person’s mind. However, he is really smart at starting churches.
If you are dumb enough to stop talking and listen to the Holy Spirit, you are just the person to start a new church. Getting out of the established church is the hard bit, starting a new one is much easier. Just get together with a few other Christians that you trust and listen to what Holy Spirit is saying. Act dumb (listen) until you hear what he is saying, then do it.
Continues at House Church for Dummies.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
If you feel a bit dumb, when it comes to starting a new church, do not worry because the Holy Spirit is a bit dumb too. A dumb person cannot speak. The Holy Spirit can only speak using the voice of another person or by putting thoughts into a person’s mind. However, he is really smart at starting churches.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Power and authority are totally different the kingdom is totally different from of the world.
Authority in the world is imposed from the top down using coercion, and force when necessary. Money flows from the bottom to the top through compulsory taxation. Programmes for salvation begin at the top and attempt to penetrate down to the bottom. By the time they reach people in need, they have often been distorted, corrupted or ripped off.
Authority is never imposed from above in the Kingdom of God. The only way that authority can be obtained is through submission. If the people do not submit to people they trust, those people have not authority. Authority never goes up very far, because it can only go as far relationships of love and trust extend.
Salvation into the Kingdom of God is transmitted sideways from person to person and house to house, as it is carried by the Holy Spirit. Money goes sideways from person to person through giving and sharing within one another relationships.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Poverty is a central issue for Christians. To be credible in the modern world, we must provide proposals for the cure of poverty. In this article, I will outline several biblical methods for dealing with poverty.
The scriptures do not give responsibility for caring for the poor to rich people of society. Rich people are cautioned against trusting in their wealth. They are warned that their wealth may quickly disappear. They are also warned that they may die before they have a chance to enjoy t heir wealth. However, the Bible is realistic and does not expect the rich to do good to the poor.
Furthermore, Jesus is not in the business of forcing rich people to be generous. The modern approach to poverty is to tax the rich and give their money to the poor. The implicit argument goes like this. Rich people are not as good as the rest of us, so they cannot be trusted to be generous of their own accord. They should be forced to be generous. We should tax the rich more, so the money can be used for the poor.
The problem with this approach is that Jesus never forced people be good. He never forced the rich to be generous. The Bible gives responsibility for the poor to Christians, not the rich. Christians who want to tax the rich to bless the poor are “passing the buck”.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The common good is term that is frequently used by many Christians to justify political policies from Romans 13:4.
Unfortunately, the common good is such a wide gate that you could drive a hundred Mack trucks through sided by side and their paint would not even be scratched.
Labels: Common Good
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A radio news segment last week covering the American election played some attack ads. I presume they chose some of the worst, but I was stunned by the vehemence.
In New Zealand, where I live, we do not have attack ads. The networks would not run them, because if they did there would be howls of protest. Politicians would not dare to use them, because it would cost them votes.
Something is seriously wrong, when the people who aspire to be leaders of the nations will stoop to this level. The advertising industry is not stupid. I presume they use attack ads, because they know they work. Something must be wrong with the American heart that this type of politicking is effective in country where most people claim to be Christian.
I hope the Iranians do not get to hear about it. That would be really embarrassing.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
An army takes a city street by street and neighbourhood by neighbourhood. In the same way, establishing a beachhead in a strategic locality and then expanding outward is a very effective way to take a city.
The spiritual pressure in a city is not evenly distributed, so the battle will be tougher closer to the spiritual stronghold that dominates it. The best place to start will be where the spiritual opposition is weak, such as the edge of a suburb or the spiritual boundary between two evil principalities. Christians are often heroic and rush to the toughest part of the city, whereas a wise general attacks where the enemy is vulnerable.
Jesus did not start in the key cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, or Tiberias where Herod lived. He built a stronghold in the fishing town of Capernaum in Galilee, where the spiritual pressure was not as intense, before pushing out to other towns (Matt 9:1). He only went to Jerusalem at the end of his ministry, when he had strong support.
Groups of Christian scan establish beachheads where God’s authority has full sway by coming together in a particular locality in a city or nation. If they do not submit to the political powers that control their city or nation, they will not be vulnerable to the spiritual forces these powers are releasing. The influence of God’s authority will expand out as people around the beachhead are drawn to Jesus.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Even in a city, the intensity of spiritual forces of evil will vary.
When Christians go to a new city to establish a new church, they tend to go to the centre of the city. This is a mistake, as the centre is the place where the spiritual opposition will be strongest. They will often find homes in suburbs all over the city. This isolation leaves them spiritually vulnerable and easy for the enemy to pick off one at a time.
Christians should identify the areas of the city where the enemy is weakest. This will often be a place where some people have chosen not to recognise the authority of the political powers and are not vulnerable to the spiritual forces released by them. It might be a place where a Person of Peace is living. Jesus told the apostles to look for the Person of Peace when they went to a new town (Luke 10:5-7) as they will be living in a place where spiritual interference is minimal.
Christian apostles going to a new city should establish a spiritual beachhead. Three or six should submit to each other to provide a wall of spiritual protection around them. (The command to resist the devil is plural (James 4:7). They should direct their caring, sharing and healing activity towards the people living around them and draw them into the place of peace they have established.
We do not need to study evil to know where to establish a beachhead. We just need to be in the right place together with other Christians who can support us in the spiritual struggle. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, he can show the place to go. Jacob did not need to understand the spiritual world, he just had to be in the right place (Gen 28:16-17). And if we have ended up in the wrong place, we should shake the dust from out feet and go where the Holy Spirit leads.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Urbanisation has led to a concentration of the spiritual forces of evil in the cities of the world. The principalities and powers tend to form a structure that matches the political authority structures in the city or nation. If political authority is concentrated in the hands of a few people who have forgotten God, the spiritual principalities and powers will have a great deal of spiritual authority.
Concentration of political power increases the authority spiritual principalities and powers. In New Zealand, a super city has just been established in Auckland, the largest city. The number of local authorities has been reduced from ten to a single large one. This concentrates political power in the hands of the few people. If they are not careful, they could give a great deal of authority to the powers of darkness. The new mayor is a Christian. I hope that he understands the spiritual influence that he has.
Democracy is dangerous. If the rulers of a city have seized power by force, many people in the city will oppose their authority, even if they have to acquiesce to his commands. This limits his authority, so the spiritual forces the ruler brought in will have limited authority too. Under democracy, most people acknowledge the authority of the people elected to power, even if they did not vote for them. This gives the elected leader enormous authority. If they forget God, they can give the forces of evil serious authority in their city.
The greatest concentration of political power takes place in nation state. The rulers of nations have great authority, especially if the nation is large. This allows even greater concentration of the spiritual forces of evil. If the elected leader of a large nation ignores God, the principalities and powers at work in the nation gain immense authority to work their dastardly plans.
Confederations of nations are even more dangerous, because they result in huge concentrations of political authority. When hundreds of millions of people all submit to a single leader, that leader has enormous authority. If the leader rejects God, they can release terrible spiritual harm in their nation. This is why a united nation like the United States has potential to do great evil.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Place is important in spiritual warfare.
Jacob discovered this when he camped a night at Bethel and saw angels ascending and descending from heaven. The reason the vision was so clear, was not that the Holy Spirit was there more than in other places. The Holy Spirit can go anywhere that he is invited. The difference was that there was no intervention from negative spiritual forces. Jacob had stumbled on a place where they were not active, so he was able to see and hear more clearly.
When the people live in rural settings, the activities of the spiritual forces of wickedness tend to be spread evenly across the countryside wherever there are people. They will not will be gathered in particular places.
Spiritual forces may have a stronger presence in the villages. This is why Jesus told his disciples to look at the Person of Influence when they went to a new village (Matt 10:11). If the Person of Influence has authority over the people of the village, but he has rejected God, he will have determined by his behaviour and attitudes which evil spirits authority to be active in the village. Apostles can gain a quick sense of the spiritual atmosphere in the village from the attitude of the head person. If he does not welcome them, then they are better to leave and seek a village where hostile spirits have not been released (Matt 10:14).
As the number of Christians in a city or nation declines, they will have to ensure that God has the authority to accomplish his purposes. Faith is the key.
Faith amplifies authority. Christians can make up for our small numbers by hearing and declaring God’s word in faith. When we pray in faith according to God’s will, we give the Holy Spirit and the holy angels authority to act on earth. Prayer in faith and declaration of God’s purposes gives him freedom to restrain the opposition in the spiritual realms.
Lack of faith shifts authority to the forces of evil. Unfortunately, many Christians are giving him a hand too. Whenever Christians proclaim doom and gloom, without the leading of the Holy Spirit, they unwittingly give the devil authority to bring it to pass. Speaking doom and gloom, when God has not spoken, shifts authority to the powers of evil.
The rulers and powers in a city or nation will often have much greater authority than the Christian minority, because so much authority has been given to them. But they do not have faith. They only believe in themselves, so their authority is not amplified by faith, either for good or evil. That gives people of faith a huge advantage.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I posted this a few weeks ago. I am posting it again, because I have added some more at the end.
Life on earth is enveloped in spiritual warfare. On one side are the Holy Spirit and the holy angels. They concentrate on doing good and advancing the purposes of God. Arrayed against them are the spiritual rulers and the dark forces of evil. They strive to obstruct Gods purposes and attempt to work as much evil as possible.
God’s authority prevails in the spiritual dimension. His authority was not affected by the fall, so this battle changes nothing in the heavenly places. In the spiritual dimension both sides must abide by God’s rules.
The outcome of the spiritual struggle is manifested on earth. When the light side wins the struggle, peace and plenty prevail on earth. When the dark side is on top, trouble and tribulation will be prevalent.
The outcome of the spiritual struggle is not determined by numbers. If it were, the light side would win, because good angels out number evil angels two to one. The outcome is not determined by force. If it were, the Holy Spirit would win hands down. The outcome of the spiritual struggle on earth is not determined by numbers or force, but by authority.
God has given authority on earth to humans. The outcome of the spiritual battle depends on which side is given the greatest authority by people on earth.
Authority on earth in spiritual realm is determined on earth by numbers of believers, faith and words declaring God’s purposes.
If enough people are following Jesus, praying in faith, and declaring God’s purposes, the Holy Spirit and the holy angels will have the authority they need to hold the dark side in check. It does not have to be the majority. In fact, the greater their faith, the smaller the number of faithful people can be. On the other hand, if too many people on earth are giving authority to the dark side, it will win the spiritual battle and the Holy Spirit and the holy angels will be constrained.
Understanding the nature of spiritual warfare settles two questions.
1. Why did God allow it?
When tragedy strikes, people always ask why God allowed it. The truth is that evil is initiated by the forces of evil active in our world. They are able to work because humans have given them permission to act. So the answer to the Why Question is always that we allowed it ourselves.
2. Isn’t God in control?
God has given authority on earth to humans, so he is in control where he is given authority to be in control. Christians have summited to God, so we have given him authority in our lives, so he is in control to work things for good.
Where humans have given authority to someone else, God is not in control. This means that the destiny of a city or nation is determined by the people with authority in that city or nation. Some people will have more authority than others. Political leaders usually have the greatest authority in a city or nation. If they are not fully submitted to God, they will be handing authority over to the spiritual principalities and powers that control the city or nation. Christians who live there will experience some of the consequences of their leader’s spiritual negligence (as did the people of Israel when David sinned). The only difference is that God can work the evil for good for his people, whereas other people will experience the consequences as evil. Fortunately, that makes a huge difference.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Some people wonder why Jesus had to die. Why does God just not forgive those who repent?
Justice is not just something between us and God. He cannot just forgive us without taking all the other into account the others involved. There are a whole lot of interested parties. Christians of course. The injured people, some who have chosen not to forgive, and many more who still want justice. The angels. Even the spiritual forces of evil. The name Satan means accuser, which is a legal term. Even though he has fallen, he still has some legal rights and seems to have some demands on justice.
God has to provide justice to all these interested parties, while treating everyone fairly. He cannot change the rules midstream, so I presume that he is also partly bound by the commitments to justice that he has made previously. (I am not sure that we know what commitments he made to the angels at the beginning).
I am not sure how all this works, but I believe that we have to take a much broader view to fully understand God’s justice. He has to be fair to every human and every living being. Just forgiving those who repent, may not accomplish this goal. For example, if God just forgives me for my sin, Satan could demand the same. Those who have not repented could also demand to be just forgiven. Jesus had to die to satisfy the broader demands of justice, as God established it in the beginning.
Friday, October 15, 2010
On the 15th of April, 2010, the Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Combating the Defamation of Religions (A/HRC/RES/13/16). The resolution was sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Some Christians are concerned about the impact of this resolution on our ability to spread the gospel.
Islam and Christianity are both imperialistic, in the sense that they both want to take over the world. Islam is at a disadvantage in his struggle, as it does not have the Holy Spirit and its gospel is mediocre (five key rules is easier than many religious systems, but not much better). Therefore it is not surprising that it attempts to use state power or military force to advance its cause.
Unfortunately, the church has often forgotten its advantages and gotten into the use of political power and force to strengthen its position. The so-called Christians nations have frequently used the United Nations to justify its interventions in Moslem countries (invading Iraq, sanctions against Iran), so I am not surprised that Islam is attempting to use the United Nations to support its side.
The truth is that the United Nations cannot stop the spread of the gospel, because it would be opposing the Holy Spirit, and he is impossible to overcome. Some Christians might suffer and some might lose their lives, but that is normal. The Roman Empire tried to put the lid on the gospel, but it failed and was eventually destroyed by it. I doubt that the United Nations can do any better.
The best approach for a group of Christians that are prohibited from sharing the gospel is to follow the example of Peter and John. When the Jewish authorities banned them from preaching, they got together and prayed that they would be filled with boldness, and that God would “stretch out his hand to heal and to perform miraculous signs and wonders in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:30). If sick people are being healed for the gospel, the United Nations would not be able to stand against it.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
An ambassador was travelling to a neighbouring kingdom with a gift and a message of greeting for the king. However, he was not what he appeared to be. He had really been sent to spy out the land by another king, a cunning evil man, who was planning to invade the kingdom that was ruled by a good king. (The good king is Jesus and the evil king is the devil.)
When the ambassador came to what had been the border, he was surprised to find that it was no longer there. He travelled many miles further down the road before he came to the border post. Those who were guarding the border had retreated far back into the kingdom.
As the ambassador travelled through the kingdom on the road to the king’s palace, he was amazed by what he saw. The crops had been neglected and were choked by weeds. No one had bothered to harvest the grain which was ripe and it had fallen to the ground and been eaten by the birds. In the villages, the people were sick and starving. In the streets men were fighting and killing each other. Everyone was a law unto himself.
In parts of the kingdom, wicked rulers had seized control. They dominated the people who lived in their "turf", making their life a misery.
As he rode into the city the ambassador passed a statue of the good king. Children were using it for target practice. Its face was almost smashed to pieces. The decrees of the king had been published on a notice board, but they were covered with so much graffiti that they were unreadable.....
Click here for more
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
General McChrystal talked of taking a "Government in a Box" into the towns in Afghanistan where US forces took control. Speaking of the surge against Marja, he said,
We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in.This sounds like modern church planting.
The New Testament model is to plant people, not to bring in a Church in a Box.
The modern emphasis on planting church is misguided. When a new church is planted, the usual procedure is to start a weekly meeting with good teaching and inspiring worship. This does not do much for those who receive the good news. A weekly sermon trains them to be passive. Participation in communal worship trains them to be escapist. Focusing efforts into a Sunday meeting gives the impression that a lot is going on, when nothing really happens. Planting a Church in a Box makes about as much sense as plans to bring a Government in a Box to the towns of Afghanistan.
When people are apostled into a new area to build relationships with the people, they can focus on do the stuff that Jesus did. New Christians will be able to join in doing this stuff with them. If a team of people with balanced giftings are planted, a lot of different stuff will happen. Every new believer will find something they can get into. Action becomes the normal Christian life.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Acts 3 describes an overwhelming incident. I do not have the courage to follow Peter and John’s example and command a paraplegic sitting in a public place to stand up and walk.
For Peter and John, it was not such a big deal. They had been doing this stuff with Jesus for a couple of years.
I have said many times that healing evangelism must be restored, if the church is to make an impact on the modern world. However, what Peter and John did cannot be learned from a book, or from listing to sermons. It is just too hard to get started. This ministry can only be learned by going out with someone who is already doing it, When it almost seem normal, the new evangelist will have the faith to have a go on their own.
We need some of the people who are now confident in the healing ministry to get into pairs and go out into the shopping malls and sports stadium and start doing what John and Peter did in Acts 3. Once they are confident, they could start taking other to multiply their ministry. This is what Jesus did. He started initially healed the sick himself. He then trained the twelve and the seventy to do the same. After Pentecost, they taught others to heal the sick and proclaim the gospel to the crowd that gathered. Passing on this faith was a true apostolic succession that was broken more than a thousand years ago.
We urgently to get the healing ministry out of the church, where it provides entertainment and solace for Christians, into the malls and stadiums where it belongs.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The New Testament givers very little detail about the afterlife, so we should take a humble approach to the topic. We must not assume we know more than Jesus wanted us to know (probably because human minds are not capable of grasping it).
When describing the afterlife, Jesus used images (fire, lake, rubbish dump). He also used textual descriptions (eternal punishment, eternal destruction). An image can take a number of meanings, so we should be careful about interpreting these as detailed descriptions of the afterlife.
The images are all physical. Fire is physical fuel being oxidised. Smoke is floating ash particles. The after life takes place (at least in part) in a spiritual world. Images of physical things cannot be a perfect description of a spiritual world. For example, a spiritual body will not burn. Therefore the physical images that Jesus used to describe the negative afterlife must be interpreted analogically and not strictly empirically.
The same applies to the image of a rubbish dump, which the modern church has transliterated as hell. We must work out what a rubbish dump means in a spiritual world.
I presume the purpose of the images was to invoke emotions and elicit a change in behaviour, not to be a. Fire is a powerful image that can elicit strong emotions, such as comfort or fear, depending on the situation. However, fire as an image can take a variety of meanings:
We need more information to determine which meaning Jesus had in mind when talking about the afterlife.
We should use the textual descriptions provided by Jesus to explain the images, and not vice versa. Likewise, we should be very careful about going beyond what the textual descriptions say, on the basis of an image. Textual descriptions of negative afterlife are quite rare, so our knowledge of it will be quite limited.
More at Afterlife.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
The establishment of a new church structure is essential. Fortunately, a whole generation is growing up without being churched. God has allowed this to happen, so they can move directly into a new style of church and the kingdom. God will not allow them to go in the old-style church life lest they would be ruined for his new thing.
People have to be trained to be part of the old-style churches, which makes them useless for what God wants to do. A church that is not preparing people for what God is doing next cannot expect a harvest; they will spoil the crop.
We need churches that have the shape of the new thing that God is doing. A church that prepares people for the next stage of history will great a great harvest.
Friday, October 08, 2010
There are two types of remnant. In Elijah’s time, a remnant of 7000 people had not bowed their knee to Baal, but they were an impotent remnant. They were not able to assist Elijah in his battle with Jezebel, and they did not change the destiny of their nation.
A different type of remnant joined with David at Addulum. This was a much smaller remnant, but some of them understood the times and they all trained and prepared. They supported David and changed the direction of their nation.
The Holy Spirit is looking for a Ready Remnant that understands the times and is prepared for what lies ahead.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Both the religious right and the religious left are seeking control over the power of the state to implement their agendas for the world. This strategy is clearly wrong, but it leads to an important question. What should be the attitude of Christians to the power of the state.
There seem to be two other options. The first is to leave the power of the state to the people of the world, and indirectly to the evil one. This does not seem very satisfactory in light of the Lordship of Christ.
The second option is to reject the power of the state totally by declaring it to be immoral. That seem to be a more satisfactory option to me. However, Christians will need to demonstrate that an orderly society can function with the coercion of political power. We have not done that yet, but it is a key part of our calling. I have described how this could happen in Voluntary Justice.
Labels: Voluntary Justice
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Another recent good read was David Finkel’s book called The Good Soldiers.
This book tells the story of a battalion of soldiers sent to Baghdad during the early stages of the surge. It illustrates the horror and futility of war. Most of the soldiers were not killed or injured in actual battle, but by IEDs that destroyed their Humvees while out on patrol. Injuries were often horrendous and permanent. It all seemed a bit pointless, but most believed they were serving their nation.
The soldiers did not see to have a clue who their enemy was or what they were fighting for. Their commanders did not understand the various factions operating in Iraq, so they did not know whether they were fighting against Sunni insurgents opposing the Iraqi government or Shia militia ethnically cleansing the city, or both.
This is not way to run an empire.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
I have just finished reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis.
He tells the story of several people who understood the flaws in the subprime loans and the housing boom, long before the crash came. They tried to sound a warning, but were treated like fools and pariahs by the establishment.
The book demonstrates that almost none of the clever people in the big banks understood the workings of the financial instruments that they were creating and trading. The worst offenders were the rating agencies. They put AAA ratings on bonds without knowing anything about the assets behind them.
The irony is that those who foresaw the disaster were not given any credit or appreciation when they were proved right. Rather they were blamed for exposing the folly of those who should have known better.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Last month I read Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin. A very interesting book that tells the story of the so-called battle to save Wall Street.
I was surprised at how active Tim Geitner (President of the New York Fed), Hank Paulson (Secretary of the Treasury) were in forcing Wall Street banks into takeovers and mergers. They often dictated the price and other conditions for enormous transactions, despite giving the impression they were making the program up as they went along.
The other message that comes through clearly in the book is that the CEOs of most large Wall St finance houses did not have a clue about the level of risk that they were carrying.
The book is promoted as the "inside story," but seems more like a vehicle for self-justification by clever people who should have known better.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
American Christians stirring up a fear of Islam are worried about something that will not happen. The great irony is that by building up fear and dread, they are paving the way for the Beast to emerge in their nation.
The other irony is that influence of Islam has grown because we have failed the task of evangelism. People are turning to Islam because they do not see Christianity as a relevant alternative. There reason is that the Christian nations has been better at invading the Middle with guns and bombs than going amongst the Islamic people to heal the sick and proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God in the power of the Spirit.
When people with the Gospel do not take it out to those whom God wants to reach, he brings the people without the gospel to those who have it. Therefore, it is not surprising that Moslem people are migrating in large numbers to Europe and the United States. God is bringing them to the gospel. When Christians react with anger or hatred, they are opposing God’s purposes.
Christians have a far better gospel than Moslems. They have requirements, whereas we have good news. Jesus is the Son of God, whereas Mohammed is just a “prophet”. Christians have the Holy Spirit, Islam just has strength, at best, and demonic power, at worst. Christianity should win against Islam hands down. If Christians are afraid of Islam, their faith in the gospel and the Holy Spirit must be weak.
When Christians come against it with guns and power, this strengthens the hand of Islam. If Christians went healing the sick and proclaiming good news for the poor, Islam would fold against it.
If Christians are afraid of Islam, their gospel must be lacking.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Some Christians are afraid that Islam will take over the United States. While, the scriptures warn of a struggle between the Islamic nations and the United States, there is no indication that America will be invaded or forced to convert to Islam.
The danger to America comes from a different source and most Christians seem to be totally unaware of it. The Seven Seals of Revelation are a series of tumultuous events that release terrible fear on earth. The people of the world will look for to human governments to rescue them from them these tribulations. This will lead to the emergence of the most powerful human government that has ever existed on earth, referred to later in the book of Revelation as the Beast.
Most Christians believe that the Beast will emerge in Europe, but this is wrong. The Beast develops in a place where a number of states join together to form one. That has already happened in America in 1787 and was confirmed in 1865.
The threat from Islamic terrorism has already produced an amazing aggrandisement of power in the United States. As the fear of Islam increases, especially if it is stirred up by some frightening incidents, the government will demand more and more power to expand the American empire. Americans will wake up one up one day and realise that Islam is still just a threat, but America is actually controlled by a terrible Beast.
The Beast will eventually collapse, not defeated by an external enemy, but torn apart from the inside. The death struggles of the Beast will wreak terrible evil on America. The peace and security that the people are seeking will disappear into chaos and darkness.