The Imminent Collapse of the United States
April 6, 2023 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Lessons from the History of Empires (And More Evidence that Jesus Is Coming Soon)


I believe that the recent and historic indictment of a former U.S. President and the impassioned response to it are confirmations of my view of Revelation and that the United States is on the verge of collapse. Consider these additional significant indicators, among many:

  • U.S. national debt now at more than $31 trillion and climbing, equivalent to $240,000 per household
  • Recent international agreements to abandon the U.S. dollar as the standard global monetary unit
  • The denigration of the historical values of hard work, two-parent homes, merit-based advancement, love for God and country, and the unity of a people based on a common set of values, including the biblical notion of inalienable human liberties

While these rapid movements seem to confirm my view of prophecy, I don’t claim to know what will happen next. However, I have discovered valuable lessons from history about what we are witnessing in the world today and that give additional confirming evidence that staggering events are about to take place.

I recently read an interesting paper by Sir John Glubb (1897–1986), a scholar, author, and military leader. He was raised in a variety of places around the world, entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1914, received a commission into the Royal Engineers in 1915, and then served in Belgium and France during the first World War. Afterward, he served in Iraq and then in the Transjordan Government, which is Jordan today; and from 1939 to 1956, he commanded the Jordan Arab Legion. He wrote multiple well-respected books on the history and politics of the Middle East.

The paper I read is entitled The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival. What is especially interesting in Glubb’s study of history is the pattern he found that is common to the rise and fall of many of the world’s great empires. He further notes that despite the wide differences in religion, culture, commerce, technology, and methods of warfare among these empires, they existed for a strikingly similar and consistent duration of time: approximately 250 years.

What Glubb terms “empire” is what we would call a superpower—that is, the dominant governmental power in the world at that time in history. In his study of these empires, he identifies certain features that contributed to their rise and, eventually, to their fall, which all occur in a predictable and repeating pattern despite those marked differences.

He lists the following empires:

The nation  Dates of rise and fall Duration in years
Assyria 859–612 B.C. 247
Persia (Cyrus and his descendants) 538–330 B.C. 208
Greece (Alexander and his successors) 331–100 B.C. 231
Roman Republic 260–27 B.C. 233
Roman Empire 27 B.C.–180 A.D. 207
Arab Empire 634–880 A.D. 246
Mameluke Empire 1250–1517 267
Ottoman Empire 1320–1570 250
Spain 1500–1750 250
Romanov Russia 1682–1916 234
Britain 1700–1950 250


Why did each of these empires have an approximate 250-year lifespan? According to Glubb, the 250-year timeframe corresponds to ten human generations, and it is the degradation and loss of the founders’ values, principles, motives, beliefs, practices, energy, and unity that occurs over the subsequent ten generations, which results in the various empires fragmenting into internal division, conflict, and self-destruction. While the empires are different, human nature is not; corrupt, selfish human nature leads to a repeating cascade of destructive practices that result in the collapse of every empire.


The Ages of Empires

Glubb divides up his pattern as a series of “ages” through which these world empires transitioned from their initial rise to their disintegration and death.

The first age Glubb calls the Age of the Pioneers and refers to the rise of an empire when a new group of people organizes and begins to expand. He describes this stage as:

A period of amazing initiative, and almost incredible enterprise, courage and hardihood. These qualities, often in a very short time, produce a new and formidable nation. These early victories, however, are won chiefly by reckless bravery and daring initiative.

The Age of the Pioneers is followed by the Age of Conquest. During this second stage, the nation rapidly expands, taking over large areas of land and resources. This age leads into and occurs simultaneously with the Age of Commerce, during which an empire builds its financial structures, increasing its holdings, trade, infrastructure, and productivity. Glubb also notes that masculine virtues are highly regarded during this phase:

The first half of the Age of Commerce appears to be peculiarly splendid. The ancient virtues of courage, patriotism and devotion to duty are still in evidence. The nation is proud, united and full of self-confidence. Boys are still required, first of all, to be manly—to ride, to shoot straight and to tell the truth. (It is remarkable what emphasis is placed, at this stage, on the manly virtue of truthfulness, for lying is cowardice—the fear of facing up to the situation.)

The Age of Commerce eventually leads into the Age of Affluence, during which money corrupts the moral fabric of society and people become more self-centered in the pursuit of their own wealth, rather than living for the benefit of advancing the ideals of the society. Glubb writes:

There does not appear to be any doubt that money is the agent which causes the decline of this strong, brave and self-confident people. The decline in courage, enterprise and a sense of duty is, however, gradual. The first direction in which wealth injures the nation is a moral one. Money replaces honour and adventure as the objective of the best young men. Moreover, men do not normally seek to make money for their country or their community, but for themselves. Gradually, and almost imperceptibly, the Age of Affluence silences the voice of duty. The object of the young and the ambitious is no longer fame, honour or service, but cash. Education undergoes the same gradual transformation. No longer do schools aim at producing brave patriots ready to serve their country. Parents and students alike seek the educational qualifications which will command the highest salaries. The Arab moralist, Ghazali (1058-1111), complains in these very same words of the lowering of objectives in the declining Arab world of his time. Students, he says, no longer attend college to acquire learning and virtue, but to obtain those qualifications which will enable them to grow rich. The same situation is everywhere evident among us in the West today.

Glubb describes the peak of a civilization as the period during which it transitions from the Age of Commerce to the Age of Affluence. He reports that during the Age of Affluence, enough of the virtues of patriotism, duty, and loyalty survive to protect the frontiers, but that the empire now begins its slow decay. This leads to a shift from expansionism to defensiveness, away from growth to protectionism, seeking to hold onto what has already been acquired. He describes how military might is devalued and economic might is elevated. In other words, the empire moves away from physical conquest to economic warfare. Military power is deemed to be primitive and barbaric, leading to the rise of pacifism, which is an inevitable cause of the destruction of the empire, for in the world outside the empire, there are many aggressive forces seeking to overthrow the empire.

The Age of Affluence is followed by the Age of Intellect, during which society turns its attention to the pursuit of knowledge; colleges and universities spring up in almost every city across the empire. The pursuit of higher education becomes the means for the accumulation of wealth, increasing one’s personal standing and power, and not a means of bettering society. And the mega-wealthy shift from patronizing the arts and music to endowing universities.

Glubb describes that during the Age of Intellect, society slides from achievement to rhetoric, from accomplishment to argument, and from productivity to a confused babel of diverse perspectives volleyed back in forth in the media, courts, communities, and halls of government. This inevitably leads to a lack of moral principles and power, which weakens the nation and results in further decline. Glubb writes:

Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world. Even on the low level of practical affairs this is patently untrue. Any small human activity, the local bowls club or the ladies’ luncheon club, requires for its survival a measure of self-sacrifice and service on the part of the members. In a wider national sphere, the survival of the nation depends basically on the loyalty and self-sacrifice of the citizens. The impression that the situation can be saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication, can only lead to collapse.

He recounts that this intellectualism leads to civil disagreement and a marked intensification of internal political hatreds. Despite external threats to the empire, the internal political hatreds become so intense that the opposing political groups cannot effectively work together for the good of the empire, but instead they continue to plot against the other party, seeking only more political power for themselves. This is a result of the loss of the self-sacrificing principle and the duty to serve the values upon which the nation was founded.

This is followed by the Age of Decadence. Glubb describes that as the empire declines in wealth, prestige, and power, a mental discouragement and pessimism takes root in the hearts of the people, furthering and hastening the fall of the nation. And this pessimism is accompanied by frivolity—the pursuit of various entertainments, indulgences, vices, and other pleasures to distract from the pessimism and inevitable decline. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die (Isaiah 22:13).

This frivolity leads to the citizens becoming less productive and a subsequent influx of foreigners. (To be clear, this is not my personal commentary; Glubb is simply stating that this development has occurred in every one of the great empires.) He describes how during times of affluence and peace, the immigrant population seems loyal to the ideals of the empire but do not themselves hold to its founding values. Then, when the society experiences increasing stress, the immigrants prove less loyal than the descendants of the founders; they tend to build their own ethnic enclaves within the society and seek to protect their own interests over that of the nation as a whole, and these immigrants often retain ancestral resentments toward the empire which, in many cases, conquered their ancestors. All of this results in the immigrant population being less loyal and less willing to sacrifice for the good of the empire when times become rough. Glubb gives many historical examples of this process from multiple previous nations.

The combination of affluence, pacificism, and decadence leads to a welfare state; Glubb writes:

History, however, seems to suggest that the age of decline of a great nation is often a period which shows a tendency to philanthropy and to sympathy for other races. … The impression that it will always be automatically rich causes the declining empire to spend lavishly on its own benevolence, until such time as the economy collapses, the universities are closed and the hospitals fall into ruin.

The final point that Glubb highlights is the weakening of the empire’s religious convictions, which sets up the society to be replaced with a new empire, typically one with great religious fervor as it seeks to replace the frivolity of the decaying empire. Glubb describes that when empires are in the Age of Conquest, they are often motivated by some kind of religious zeal, the desire to stamp out decadence, to advance some moral mandate. But as the society declines, this religious zeal is lost in pessimism and frivolous pleasures.


End-Time Significance

While Glubb did not list the USA in his list of empires, it is simple enough for us to examine this nation, a world superpower, against this historical pattern. When we do, we find that the USA is nearing the end of its lifespan and that the time is approaching for it to be replaced with another world power:

The nation Dates of rise and fall Duration in years
USA 1776–2023 247


We find that America is following exactly the pattern that Glubb observed through his study of historical empires, and it is currently in its Age of Decadence stage—the sad state of pessimism, decay of morality, frivolous pursuit of all forms of entertainment and pleasure, marked increased in political hatred, and financially unsustainable social welfare spending. According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, only 39 percent of Americans said that their religion is important to them, and only 38 percent said patriotism was important.

From a biblical worldview, this should not be a surprise to anyone, for it is the fulfillment of prophecy. In Come and Reason’s magazine Unmasking the Beasts of Revelation 13 & 17, we describe the rise of the beast with the lamblike horns, which represents the USA, and that when it declines, it will be replaced by the emergence of the end-time worldwide beastly system that will be led by satanic forces, a global coalition government that advances with its own immoral religious zeal. We are on the verge of those final events!

In our blogs King of the North Versus King of the South and Today’s End-Time Events and Prepare! The King of the North Is Coming, we describe how in the prophecy of Daniel 11, the King of the South, symbolically represented by Egypt, represents godlessness, atheism, evolutionism, communism, humanism, and leftism, while the King of the North, symbolically represented by Babylon, represents religious imperialism. In this long prophecy, these two forces of Satan (godlessness and religious imperialism) battle back and forth through history, with God’s people (represented by the beautiful land) caught in the middle. As the prophecy winds down, the last two movements are the King of the South (godlessness) attacking the King of the North and the King of the North storming out and destroying the King of the South.

I believe that the current assaults of godlessness, wokeism, atheism, communism, humanism, extreme leftism, the modern pagan earth worship of greenism, and climate fear-mongers are all part of Satan’s King of the South forces, which are aggressively attacking the principles of historic Christianity. There is coming a strong backlash from the forces of religious imperialism, using the power of governments to enforce some religious morality. This will not be controlled by the USA, but the USA will collude with all the other governments of the world in support of the satanic forces that bring about this global coalition, which will abuse and dominate the peoples of the Earth in the name of some so-called “righteous” goal, such as saving the planet or, perhaps, stopping a virus.

Yes, the evidence of history, prophecy, and current world events all point to the same conclusion—Jesus is coming soon! It is time for the sleeping saints (Matthew 25) to wake up, to trim away from their hearts and minds all the residue of this world so that the flame of God’s glory, love, truth, and light burns brightly in our hearts and we shine as true witnesses for God’s kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!



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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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