“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” warned President Trump. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” he threatened, pitching cosmic catastrophe against the dragons and beasts of Pyongyang. And there will be battles and blood, murder and martyrs, a vision of violence as bowls of judgment are poured out on the earth while the multitudes cry out on the hills for salvation.
When the only country in the history of the world to have used nuclear bombs threatens another country with “fire and fury like the world has never seen”, we must assume that they are brandishing bigger bombs than those which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Earth-shattering thunder and blinding light. This would be the end of existence for millions, and a living death for millions more. It is an apocalypse too fearful and frightful to contemplate, yet contemplate it we must, for it is not a science fiction nightmare but a very real possibility of unprecedented destruction and suffering; even the end of civilisation. And there is no transcendent joy to be transported to; no being caught up in the third heaven to receive visions of radiance; no Wedding Feast of the Lamb to dispel the horrors of a demon-infested wasteland. There is only the beast and the dragon: Kim Jong-un and his arsenal of nuclear-charged ICBMs.
This is Satan’s lair, led by sinister demon-puppet. It is the most hostile culture on earth; the supreme hater and destroyer of Christians, who are “hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot”. There is “extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labor, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence, and other inhumane acts”. World Watch List Rank: 1. Main Religion: Atheism. Government: Communist dictatorship. Source of Persecution: Dictatorial paranoia. North Korea is a sea of diabolical godlessness.
And God has chosen Donald Trump to speak a very loud revelation of conviction; a ministry of fire and fury word-pictures in which good and evil are brought nearer to those who have ears to hear or hearts that will listen. The words aren’t meant to be studied for rationality or reason: they are apocalyptic, devoid of intellectual logic but charged with dramatic significance. You can’t fathom a symphony of lines and dots: it must be experienced first-hand and felt in the soul, like the visions of God. And God attends and cares. Why else would there be silence in heaven to receive the prayers of the saints?
People of the earth have a choice: they either worship and honour Christ by laying down their lives, or they destroy themselves by worshipping the beast. ‘He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth‘ (Lk 11:23). The trump sounds, and there comes a voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues‘ (Rev 18:4). Discipleship is starkly black and white, for the present age is evil, dark and without meaning. The only salvation lies in the jasper, carnelian, emerald and sapphire of revelation.
The Apocalypse of Donald is not mindless or careless or mad: it is purposely and purposefully incendiary – it sets ablaze the imagination and boils the fat out of an obese culture of politically-correct pontifications and interminably immoral compromises. There is good and evil; love and hate; war and peace; truth and lies; purity and perversion.
And there is heaven and hell.
His theme is liberation, if not quite salvation. If you think otherwise, put yourselves into the shoes of the suffering Christians of North Korea, and speak to them of the need to sup with Satan ‘for the greater good of mankind’. You can’t ask why God doesn’t do something about the present evil and then despair when he raises up leaders who threaten to do something with fire and fury. If you think the Apocalypse of Donald offends against rationality, you need to contemplate the Apocalypse of St John with its judgments heaped on judgments and Satan storming heaven, and where the only Christians seem to be martyrs who have suffered untold horrors and wept day and night in service of their Lord.
God has chosen a side, and it is His vision of empowerment which sustains the oppressed, destitute and persecuted. And that empowerment comes from words which fire the imagination and forge our faith. If we cannot imagine, we cannot see the images that are supposed to keep us ‘steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord‘ (1Cor 15:58). We will not recognise the imperial cult of the beast, the harlot and the false prophet. You can’t discern holiness in darkness.
Kim Jong-un will be judged by God, and so will Donald Trump. Both will be found wanting, for both have sinned. But you had better hope that any judgment meted out on earth consigns Kim Jong-un to oblivion, or our short-range prayers will turn to long-term despair, and the martyrs will go on chanting their hymns of tribulation.
God has a purpose in history: there is a dawn of hope in the seemingly interminable darkness of tragedy and suffering. He speaks into wars and rumours of wars, and enters into our conflict-ridden life with more power than a billion nuclear bombs. ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ He whispers, as all of creation moans. There is a moment of stillness in which He is felt to rule everything. It is not yet seen, but the day will come. The Lamb will triumph even though the harlot appears to reign supreme and Satan’s work flourishes.