The New Empire Coming Upon Us

by Robert Holmes Saturday, 15 November 2008

This article will cover a range of issues which have been brewing for six to twelve months in my heart. History will judge America as an empire. That empire is coming to an end. The election of Barak Obama is a significant prophetic event, marking the sunset of that empire, and the rising of other powers in the earth – who represent ancient powers and civilisations. These ideas have consequences for believers living both in the US and the countries who rely on her (like Australia). But to address those things, I need to go back eight years.

Standing in Upstate New York in 2000, I had a conversation with the Lord which I shall never forget. The Lord asked me “How long does an empire last?” to which I asked, “Am I standing in an empire?” [it did not occur to me that I was standing in the Empire State!] Rather than answering me directly, He said, “All empires come to an end”. I pondered this for a moment. What empire? Was this country coming to an end? Then He asked a third question: “How do people position themselves as an empire nears its eventual end?” The implications of his line of thought were clear. America had become an empire, had influenced the world, but was now nearing the end of her reign as a sovereign super power. God wanted his people to know, their day in the sun is ending; the sunset is coming. He wanted them to make preparations and adjustments.

What is an Empire?

An empire is a group of peoples (or nation) ruled by powerful sovereigns, whose government dominates a significant portion of the world’s inhabitants, whose borders encroach upon a large portion of the world’s land mass for an extended, unbroken period of time. Less specifically, an empire’s culture, religious inclination and form of government are forcibly, or indirectly brought to bear upon those regions under its influence.

The concept of an American Empire was first popularized in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898 (during which it took control of the Philippines and other Pacific island nations). America rates as an empire not only because of her global sovereignty but because of her super power status.

She is actually the world’s first “hyper power”. Hubert Vedrine, the French Foreign Minister stated in July 2003 that, “The United States of America today predominates on the economic, monetary, technological and in the cultural arena … in terms of power and influence it is not comparable to anything known in modern history … in short the US is a hyper puissance [hyper power]”. (1) Here is how
Stephen Peter Rose (from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies in Harvard University) puts it: “The United States has no rival. We are militarily dominant around the world … We use our military dominance to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries … our goal is not combating a rival, but maintaining our imperial position, and maintaining imperial order,” (2).

This frame of reference, the mind set is easily seen in numerous speeches by US leaders.
Madeleine Albright during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State said in February 1998, “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.” That may have been true in 1990, but it is much less true in 2010.

George W Bush Jr says, “Today the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence … more and more the division that counts is the one separating America from everyone else.” (3) He is not the first to describe America this way, but he is the most recent. Former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld categorically denies any imperialistic aspirations: “We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic. We never have been.” (4) But his own government departments defy him.

The State Department established the Office for Democracy and Global Affairs in 2001. The most interesting Bureau within that Office is Democracy, Human Rights and Labour (established in 2005).
George W Bush Jr spoke at its inauguration, saying: “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world,” (5) January 20, 2005. Read this as meaning “at any cost” even at the point of a gun.

Alexander cometh!

In 1999, as I prepared to travel to the US on ministry, the Lord gave me a very unusual prophetic word. He said that, “In the days of Babylon, when her walls stood wide and her leaders stood tall, her defences were strong and her campaigns victorious,
Alexander the Great came and defeated her. In the same way, my Alexander will stand in the very midst of the United States of America”.

The phrase “in the same way” indicates that America’s walls are wide, her leaders stand tall, her defences are strong, her campaigns until now have been victorious. But a man like
Alexander – someone God refers to as “my Alexander” will stand in her midst, victorious and defeat her. Alexander the Great, a Mediterranean Greek, defeated Darius the Mede in 331BC at the Battle of Gaugamela, and the gates of Babylon swung open to him (when he was just 25 years old). He stood in the midst of the courtyard declaring himself king. He then spent considerable time and effort trying to restore Babylon to its former glory. As I prayed in preparation for going to the US two weeks ago on ministry again, I had a vision of a map of America from high above. There, almost in the centre of it was a marketplace. I zoomed down toward the marketplace, and saw a man standing there. I recognised by the Spirit that it was Alexander the Great, standing in a dusty, sandstone area, sword lifted high, victorious.

I believe that God’s “
Alexander” is Barak Obama. He has now stood in the middle of America, and declared his victory speech in Grant Park in Chicago. There, he prophetically declared, “Change has come to America,” (6). Yes indeed, it has. Barak, apart from having the appearance of a Middle Eastern or African man, is also very young and inexperienced. Barak Obama has not even had a full term in his senate position (he was elected in November 2004). I do not question the right of a 47 year old to rule a nation, but his inexperience is not reduced by his amazing oratory skill. “Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout [in all] the earth,” (Psalm 45:16 NIV).

He represents the end of empire America as we know it, and the opening of a new regime, one which, like
Alexander, represents a conflagration of old powers: European, Middle Eastern and Asian. He will try to restore America’s glory, but in doing so relegate her to second position on the global scene.

Chinese communist armies may well stand ready to invade the US, but she is extremely well guarded. Muslim extremists are surely planning further self-destructive attacks on US soil, but she is well prepared. It is certain that European economies seek to outflank the US, but given the present economic collapse, their hopes fall with the US.

There remains one great enemy the US has no protection against at all: themselves. It is to ourselves we must look. The society we have created, the environment we have destroyed, the economy we have overtaxed, the people we have abandoned, the poor we have ignored, the sin we have run toward, the morals we have abandoned. These things must change.

- Arrogance and greed are their own poison.
Pride brings its own inevitable fall.
- Moral corruption is its own debilitating cancer.

America is in the cycle

In a substantial review of empires, Salem Kirban concluded that “world dominating civilizations progress through the following fairly well defined sequence of stages” (7):

- Bondage;
- Spiritual faith/ revival;
- Courage/ war;
- Liberty for the people;
- Prosperity/ abundance/ wealth;
- Complacency/ apathy;
- Dependency/ debt;
- Moral corruption/ addiction;
- Bondage.

It does not take an historian or a scholar to see that America has traversed her way through this very cycle of life, and finds herself in the dependency/debt and moral corruption/ addiction stages. National debt stands at 10,639,613,228,421 today (that’s ten point six trillion and rising). It is the most indebted nation on earth. Debt stands at 70% of GDP. And to whom is that money owed? The US government itself owns about 43% of it. The next largest holder is the US Federal Reserve, and after that: Japan, China, Britain and Oil countries of the Middle East (who together hold 29%, which is more than private sector Americans). About 66% of the debt owned by foreign nations is held by banks of other countries, in particular the central banks of Japan and China. (8)

Recall the prophetic words about the end of an empire, preparing for the days to come, and the appearance of an
Alexander figure. The era of America’s dominance is closing. Barak will oversee the increase of influence of foreign powers in the US: the power of ancient nations and forces. Specifically: European, Middle Eastern and Asian. The everyday mortgages of middle income Americans are owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which in turn are heavily indebted to Japan, China and Middle Eastern oil states. This situation will only get more and more entwined. America stands a very real exposure to risk should foreign banks stop buying Treasury securities or start selling them heavily.

This risk was addressed in a recent report issued by the Bank of International Settlements which stated, “Foreign investors in U.S. dollar assets have seen big losses measured in dollars, and still bigger ones measured in their own currency. While unlikely … a sudden rush for the exits cannot be ruled out completely.” (9). One economic analyst, Nouriel Roubini keenly observes, “The US has squandered its uni-polar moment, the decline of the American Empire – as the US was a global empire – has started … We are indeed slowly moving towards a multi-polar world where there will be a balance of Great Powers rather than the hegemony of a single hyperpower.” (10)

Change of government, but no change of heart

There will be a change of president in the White House in January, 2009. The US president is moving from Republican to Democrat, but that does nothing to change the heart of the nation. The rise of a Black leader does nothing to address the moral malady she is in. Obama is not the nation’s savior. The nation is already deep in the throes of a national depression which will last between 2-10 years, it is the most indebted nation in history, and no man can rescue such a situation.

If Kirban is right, and if this word is true, the nation will bring herself undone. She will decay, and implode – and then bondage must come. As Irish philosopher
Edmund Burke once said, “Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters,” (11). Our passions must necessarily forge external fetters to govern us. Famine, strife, martial law, war, invasion and poverty ensue.

God calls
Barak Obama “my Alexander”. His standing in the midst of America, victorious was a prophetic announcement that change indeed has come to America. The American Empire is coming to an end. There is a global shift from a single super power to the rise of other powers in the earth. These ideas have consequences for believers living both in the US and the countries who rely on her. Our world is getting set to change! Now God asks, “How will you position yourself as the empire nears its eventual end?”

1) Vedrine,
Hubert. Address to the UN Security Council. July 2003.
Stephen Peter Rosen: The Future of War and the American Military, in Harvard Magazine 5/2002.
3) The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, Washington September 2002 (NSS), Preface by Gege W. Bush, p. 1.
4) Bookman,
Jay. "Let's just say it's not an empire", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 25, 2003.
7) Kirban, Salem. “World Powers”, Christianity Today, 1968.
9) “BIS says global downturn could be 'deeper and more protracted' than expected.”
10) “The Decline of the American Empire.”
Apr. 3, 1777 - from a letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol