THE POINT OF NO RETURN
Author: Don McGee
In light of recent events centered in Washington a number of people are predicting a coming change in the way this country will be governed, and it is quite clear that the reason for their fearful expectation has to do with what they call their “growing loss of liberty.” It might come as a surprise to some readers, but these people are not all Christians and Bible prophecy teachers.
Many could not quote John 3:16-17 or name even four of the apostles if their lives depended upon it. They see themselves as regular people and their voices can be heard at morning coffee klatches all over this country. They sense that some event is near and their conviction is that it is ominous.
For students of prophecy the whole thing is very transparent which is the reason we don’t marvel at what is happening, nor do we shake in fear. God has given us His broad blueprint for human history, and we simply carry out our responsibilities as it all unfolds. It is important for our readers to be aware of what is happening and where things are going, so we have reprinted Chapter 8 of our book, Return to Shinar in order to address some aspects of this growing concern about what will bring this country to the point of no return. That chapter titled, “The Break Over.”
There comes a particular point in a country’s process of morphing from a land of liberty and self-destiny to a land of limitation and state subjugation where things go from changing to changed. Much like the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, something happens that is the defining point in the transition. Until that point, it is all about a steady process, then suddenly something pushes the nation past the point of equilibrium. Much like a balancing scale where one side suddenly becomes heavier than the other, the weight of the process shifts, or breaks over, creating a new and unrecognizable nation.
A similar process happened in the early history of the American constitutional republic. The Declaration of Independence was the break-over point for the colonies that had long been in disagreement with England. The war had been going on for more than a year when the document was signed. The war was the result of the British parliament’s imposition of totalitarian measures upon the colonies.
The day the Declaration of Independence was signed was the day the colonies reached the point from which there was no return. This was especially so for the fifty-six signers, for from that day on, they were officially designated as traitors to King George III; as such, they were subject to be hunted down and hanged by his army.
On a single day, a process stopped and a result came into being. The American people do not have a special day to celebrate the process, but July 4 is set aside to celebrate the break-over point when the complexion of the colonies changed forever.
This is what is presently happening not only to the United States, but to the entire world. The process itself is ongoing, but there is an approaching point where the goal of change will be reached. It will happen suddenly. Americans will awaken one morning to a new government that has no concern for individual liberty. Many in the world are already there, and those who are not will be there soon.
Where America and the world are on the road to oneness is difficult to pinpoint. But, it is not difficult at all to see that we are indeed on that road and that the defining moment is no longer in the distant future. It is near. When it does happen, the huge sign that will be flashing at the border will read: “Welcome to Shinar-one people, one world, one purpose.”
It’s easy to see how Satan might have thought the twentieth century was that time. The events of the two world wars and the Holocaust might have seemed to him that the world was being set up to be his. Of course, it did not happen. It did not happen because God wasn’t ready; that is, in that context, the “fullness of time” had not arrived. Still, it was a dress rehearsal for what is coming-maybe a rough and disjointed one, but a dress rehearsal all the same.
Interestingly, Satan wasn’t the only one who might have thought that the critical time had been reached. From the late 1800s and Theodore Herzl’s publishing of The Jewish State to 1941 when Adolf Hitler was at his zenith, it was easy for those very few believers in Bible prophecy to think it was all shaping up. This idea took a quantum leap in 1948, when Israel was reestablished as a nation in her own God-given land.
But, none of those events, the Wannsee Conference in 1942, the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, etc., carried the world to the critical point of irreversible change. Though those events were important in themselves, especially the fact that the Jews were back in their land as a nation, the table hadn’t been fully set. There were other things God was going to allow, things that couldn’t have been imagined in those days.
The Nazi era of the twentieth century provides one of the best examples of a process of political change that is followed suddenly by a critical moment when a way of life is revolutionized literally overnight. A careful look at Germany from 1933 to 1945 will show that the process that produced Nazism is very much alive today. There came a crucial instant in Germany, an overnight event that changed everything for everybody, and Christians would do well to spend some time carefully comparing those days with what is happening today.
If a student of Bible prophecy would take advantage of some of the better volumes written on Nazism-there are many-along with the equally numerous factual documentaries produced on the subject, the template would easily be recognized today. The reason that era of human history didn’t become the one that returned humanity to Shinar wasn’t that it was ineffective.
What was done in the run-up to World War II and the means of tracking and controlling people in Nazi Europe was very effective. The reason was that the timing wasn’t right. Satan might have indeed thought his time had come in those days, but God knew it had not. Satan is an evil being with phenomenal power, but he is not omniscient.
Modern political events along with amazing technological advances are taking that pattern and refitting it for today, and Revelation 13 gives us a good idea of just how successful it will be post-rapture.
Consider some things from the Nazi era and see how they might apply to the near future regarding global events.
Every reader will know that Adolf Hitler was the architect of the Third Reich. The German people of those days considered him to be an infallible gift from providence. He was a veteran of World War I who became terribly embittered by Germany’s loss. He was convinced that Germany’s defeat was the result of betrayal and was infuriated by the impossible reparations the Treaty of Versailles imposed upon his fatherland.
After the war, Hitler got a civil service job. In this job, he was sent to infiltrate the anti-government political reactionary groups in Munich and report on their activities. Ironically, though, he found himself strongly agreeing with their message. By this fluke of history, he soon became their leader, and while he was in that position, he discovered he had a gift of amazing oratorical skills.
Hitler’s style of speaking set him apart from all others. On one occasion in which he spoke to a packed house, he employed some unique mannerisms.
He began by making the crowd wait an hour for him to appear. After walking to the stage with his eyes straight ahead and taking his place behind the lectern, he again waited silently for one full minute before saying a word. He gazed at the crowd, taking measurement of their mood. His words came slowly at first, with a voice that was calm and subdued. As he spoke, his words grew in emphasis as his volume increased. By the end, the crowd was ecstatic, with most on their feet applauding wildly.
Hitler bared his soul before his people, giving no excuse for what he said and offering no apology to anyone for his belief system. Many in his audiences seemed mesmerized by his words and demeanor, and it might be that his unashamed political and emotional nakedness contributed to the people’s unequivocal belief in his plan for Germany’s resurgence. They had found their champion.
In the beginning, in the early days of Hitler’s campaigning as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party leader, the people weren’t so impressed by his anti-Semitic view of the Jews or by his demand for Czechoslovakia to hand over the Sudetenland to the German people. What captured their attention and galvanized their support was the hope he offered them for national revival.
He promised the masses a resurgent Germany with a powerful military, and that the glorious fatherland would adhere to no reparation demands. The people loved him and his words. Essentially, he offered them hope-pure, nationalistic hope. And, it worked! The process of changing Germany had begun.
Finally, in 1933, the Nazi party took control in Germany, with Hitler becoming chancellor. That year marked the end of Germany as the people knew it.
How did this happen and how long did it take? It happened with an event that can be called the break-over point, and the result was that a new way of life was born in the German state in less than twenty-four hours.
The critical day came on February 27, 1933, just four weeks after Hitler became chancellor. At 10:15 that night, the Berlin fire department received a call that the German Reichstag (the German parliament) was burning. To this day, the details of the fire are unknown. It is quite probable that the Nazi party orchestrated the fire in order to create a “national emergency.”
Available “evidence” indicated that the Communists were to blame. Immediately, the people were bombarded with propaganda insinuating that the Communists were in a revolt and Germany had to “do something.” Hitler immediately claimed the fire was the intended signal for the beginning of the revolt, and that instant, strong measures had to be taken to protect the country.
On the next day, Hitler intimidated the aged President Paul von Hindenburg into issuing a type of executive order labeled the “Reichstag Fire Decree,” which suspended civil liberties in Germany. The “national emergency” required the “temporary” suspension of civil liberties for all German citizens, and that happened immediately.
It also required the setting up of the very first concentration camp at Dachau, the establishment of laws prohibiting Jews from working in the government and schools, the banning of trade unions, and the banning of all books deemed dangerous to the Nazi belief system.
It took Hitler just four weeks to bring Germany to the point of permanent change, and in less than twenty-four hours after that point had been reached, Germany became a totalitarian state. On the night of February 27, 1933, the people went to sleep as free citizens. On the morning of February 28, 1933, they woke up as enslaved subjects.
Americans, at least the older ones among us, cannot fathom this. We have experienced liberty and can recognize tyranny at extreme distances. The young among us, however, were born into an ongoing, semi state of emergency. They cannot recognize tyranny because they have never lived as adults with freedom from an intrusive government.
They’ve been indoctrinated into thinking government intrusion into their lives is normal. They can’t understand that the United States government, under the guise of a semi “national emergency,” has already suspended the Fourth Amendment in many public areas, is working toward the suspension of the Second Amendment in private areas, and is hell-bent upon suspending the First Amendment in any area.
An intrusive government never, ever reinstates liberties that have been suspended, and members of the younger generation cannot see this truth it as it unfolds before their eyes. They don’t realize that they, their families, their businesses, and everything else are being herded down a narrowing path whose end is at the border of Shinar.
The Islamic attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent attempts to kill Americans in the name of Allah constitute the cannon fodder for the globalists. They have been emboldened in their goal of redefining the U.S. Constitution and bringing the United States in line with a system more conducive to affecting globalism. This has been abetted by pointing the population to a tool of the enemy instead of to the enemy itself. Like rifles and grenades in a battle, so, too, is terror merely a weapon and not the real enemy.
What is the break-over point for America? What event is looming in her near future that could usher in a dramatic and irreversible change? No one really knows exactly what it might be, but many students of Bible prophecy believe it could come from several directions. Consider just five events that could do it:
1. A devastating natural disaster
2. Another horrific Islamic attack on a river-control structure, power grid, or metropolitan center
3. An uncontrollable contagion
4. Total financial collapse. Each could happen with astounding speed, and each could be responded to with a crippling government response at equally astounding speed.
The fifth possibility? The rapture – that is, when Jesus returns to take His church [Ekklesia] from this world. That event will impact the entire world, but countries like America that still have a sizeable Christian population will feel the brunt more than nations whose populations are secular or pagan in their religious beliefs.
The rapture of the church is likewise the culmination of a process, one akin to Satan’s plan to reorganize the nations of the world into a one-world system. The rapture will bring world events to the “fullness of time,” the moment when this planet and its rebellious people become ripe for God’s judgment.
Further, the removal of the church will not need hours to happen; it will happen in a space of time so small it cannot be divided. The personal and local impact will be felt immediately and in many ways. This is the most critical of all possible eventualities, and the fact is, it is imminent.
The specific event that will usher in the change is not important to Satan. What is important is that America-and the world, for that matter-must be convinced that whatever restrictive laws are implemented are for the “security” of the people. That builds a strong foundation for what is to come in the form of the Antichrist.
By looking at the European model of political thinking it appears clear that the trend toward globalism is rooted and nourished in Europe. What makes this important is that even a casual glance at various developments during the last several decades shows that the dance between America and Europe has often been led by Europe whether the issue is politics, economics, religion, morality, etc.
The inclination seems to be: as Europe is, so shall America soon be. But, this is not an anomaly in the minds of most prophecy students because they believe scripture indicates the Antichrist will come from the European political theater. They also believe that when he arrives America will be waiting to climb aboard his bandwagon, probably driven to that point by a number of factors including political/economic conditions along with a godless social and moral mindset common in most who are left behind post-rapture.
It appears very clear that we are in the dark shadow of impending and dramatic change. Any number of events could provide the spark, but the taking out of the church most definitely will make it happen. And that is the clarion declaration of CSM, that the return of Jesus for His church is imminent, though most can’t see it. “You can read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t understand the signs of the times” (Jesus to His listeners in Matthew 16:3).