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After this, no more cycles

Reader comment on item: Middle East Provocations and Predictions
in response to reader comment: East Asia Tells The Tale

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 23, 2015 at 16:55

Hi, Dave

You said,

"I just hate to think of who's coming for us; we could have a lot worse than Mongolian horsemen."

The Buddha was raised in the Hindu tradition of karma and endless rebirths. He saw no satisfaction in this, because of the ultimate pointlessness of it all, and sought enlightenment as to how to escape it. The result was Buddhist doctrine -- a doctrine which, if followed and mastered, promised to give the devotee...

NOTHING.

The Bible offers better promises than this. It is premised on the proposition that mankind was created in God's image. He gave us a duty, which Solomon described as to "fear God, and obey His commandments", to the end that, as the scriptures often said, "we might know Him".

That might sound a little like the "blissful nothingness" that the Buddhists seek as an escape from karma; and indeed, there is a similarity. The difference is that God is not "nothing", but rather the very opposite; He is the eternal "something": always creating, always new, always vigorous and full of life. Moreover, we aren't promised an endless karmic cycle, but instead a relatively brief, concise period of earthly existence (as a universe, as well as individuals), after which the universe will be "folded up as a garment".

It is true, that we keep making the same sort of mistakes over and over. This demonstrates much about us: our ignorance, our stubborness, the pointlessness of doing things "my way". It won't go on forever, though. We are a clock that goes round and round; but like every clock in the universe, including atomic clocks, we will eventually stop running. God has ordained that after this "great and glorious" resurrection of the Roman Empire that we now live in, the old man will, as in the song, "stop short, never to work again". The earth will then enjoy 1000 years of proper management, which I see as something of a Sabbath rest, and then we will be judged, once for all (not as in karma) and translated into our eternal reward.

The Roman Empire outlasted most other empires of man, in terms of an uninterrupted, continuous existence. The various Chinese dynasties were interrupted by periods of fragmentation and of foreign domination. As for the Romans, they became absolute rulers of the Latin league in 338 BCE and continued without interruption as a single polity until the Fourth Crusade of 1204 CE -- 1542 years, in total. If the Empire of Nicaea is taken to be the continuation of the Empire during the years the crusaders occupied Constantinople, then the Empire continued until the Turks overran the capital in 1453, a total of over 1,790 years. The Empire divided under Domitian, in the early 300s CE, so what I have just described was the continuation of the Eastern half. If only the Western half is considered, which included the city of Rome itself, then the Empire ended in 476 CE -- still giving a total span of 814 years. The Greek, Persian, and Babylonian empires together only ruled for a fraction of that time, and even the Assyrians fell short of it by perhaps 100 years. The Old Kingdom of Egypt may have existed for a longer time; I'm not that sure.

All the greatest empires of the West, in turn, are portrayed in the book of Revelation as seven heads of "the beast". Rome is the sixth. The seventh was probably its successor, the "Holy Roman Empire", which can be said to have begun with Charlemagne in 800 CE. That empire lasted over 1000 years, until it was ended by its emperor so that Napoleon couldn't claim to be a legitimate heir to it.The successors to this seventh empire were ten nations that arose out of it, probably the nation-states of Western Europe such as France, Germany, Italy, etc. Those nations collectively ruled a "European Colonial" empire that dominated the entire world until the end of WWII. It was succeeded by the Americans (and Russians, until the collapse of the Soviet Union), who are still the world's greatest and only superpower.

Who will overrun us? The Canadians? Mexicans? Syrians? The Bible seems to indicate that nobody will; that the nations of the earth will be like the gingham dog and the calico cat, and eat each other up. A nuclear exchange also is implied in Zechariah 14.

I'm fasting for Yom Kippur, and running out of pep.

L'Shannah Tova.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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