Our China Dream Nightmare & The Mysterious Miracle of Israel

There is more to tell you about why I fear President Xi Jinping is a Chosen One.

As we told you, he is aware of the power of Black Swans and Gray Rhinos…

During the Lunar New Year holidays, political circles in Beijing were abuzz with this question: “Who, or what, are ‘black swans’ and ‘gray rhinos’?” This followed a major speech given by President and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping at the Central Party School (CPS) last month, in which the the 65-year-old leader raised the highest alert for Party officials to “be on guard against black swans and keep watchful for gray rhinos” (jingti hei tian’e, fangfan hui xiniu / 警惕黑天鹅, 防范灰犀牛) (People’s Daily, January 22).


As the world watches with anxiety the unfolding series of crises shaking up China, more questions are being asked as to whether simply enhancing loyalty to the top leadership will effectively solve the country’s problems. As long as these problems persist, Xi and other leaders in the CCP’s top echelons will continue to watch nervously for the potential emergence of those mysterious and frightening beasts known as “black swans” and “gray rhinos.”

China Brief Early Warning: Xi Jinping Warns Against the “Black Swans” and “Gray Rhinos” of a Possible Color Revolution, By: Willy Wo-Lap Lam, Jamestown Institute, February 20, 2019

You see, Black Swans fly through China’s story just like they do through America’s story.

Paula introduced us to a famous American journalist, Theodore White, who in 1967 wrote a documentary film titled: China: The Roots of Madness.

The film won an Emmy Award, and we re-watched something that caught  our attention a few years back, appearing at about the 12:13 mark in the film …

The Manchu Dynasty disappeared overnight. Nothing like this has ever happened in all history. Two thousand years of tradition; the whole structure of the imperial Confucian political thought dissolving to dust.

A total Black Swan.

So, just imagine yourself in 1968, standing next to Deng Xiaoping as he hears the news his eldest son has been tortured by the Red Guards and forced out the window of a four-story building. Then fast forward to late 1969 as you find yourself working next to him in the tractor factory after he has been purged.

Would you ever believe he would one day become the ruler of China and have such a massive impact on both our nation and world history? 

How improbable is that? It would take a Black Swan!

But a Black Swan is just what happened.

So, you can see why, even though we hate this Minxin Pei guy, we do have to at least consider what he is saying…

A one-party state riven with internal strife and surrounded by powerful forces seeking its demise is more likely to fail than succeed. So the end may not be imminent for the CCP, but it has, in all probability, begun.

The Beginning of the End, by Minxin Pei, The Washington Quarterly, Fall 2016

And just think about the Soviets. How long did they last? If you date it from 1917 to 1991, it puts it at 74 years. But if you date the beginning of the Soviet Union from the end of the Russian civil war in 1921, you get, that’s right — 70 years. And you can date it from then. Look at this book…

W. Bruce Lincoln, Red Victory: A History Of The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921 

And my heart skipped a beat when Paula reminded me–the end of those 70 years came on Christmas Day!

MOSCOW, Dec. 25— The Soviet state, marked throughout its brief but tumultuous history by great achievement and terrible suffering, died today after a long and painful decline. It was 74 years old.

Conceived in utopian promise and born in the violent upheavals of the “Great October Revolution of 1917,” the union heaved its last in the dreary darkness of late December 1991, stripped of ideology, dismembered, bankrupt and hungry — but awe-inspiring even in its fall.


In the end, promising a new life, it created an unspeakably bleak society — polluted, chronically short of everything, stripped of initiative and spirituality. While the bulk of the nation stood in line or guzzled rot-gut vodka, the Communist elite raised corruption to new heights: The likes of Leonid I. Brezhnev and his cronies pinned endless medals on one another and surrounded themselves with a peasant’s notion of luxury — grandiose candelabras, massive cars, vast hunting estates, armies of sycophants, secret hospitals filled with the latest Western technology.

END OF THE SOVIET UNION; The Soviet State, Born of a Dream, Dies, By Serge Schmemann, New York Times, December 26, 1991

What if – and I know that this is all speculation – what if the end of what the American President Ronald Reagan called the “evil empire” – purposely came as a gift to the world on Christmas Day… from your God the Great Storyteller?

It’s all crazy, isn’t it? So highly improbable! And yet, wasn’t the end of the Soviet Empire itself also so highly improbable? ….

Nevertheless, the malevolence of Yeltsin and the vanity of Gorbachev do not stand in the way of something akin to a political miracle taking place. On December 25, 1991, a historical event on par with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 or the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 occurs without a foreign war or a bloody revolution as catalyst. Communist Yugoslavia disintegrated in flames, but the Soviet Union breaks up almost impassively as the world looks on in disbelief. The mighty Soviet army relinquishes an empire of subject republics without firing a shot. It all happens very quickly. Few politicians or scholars predicted, even as the year 1991 began, the scale and scope of the historic upheaval at year’s end.


On December 25, 1991, the country that defeated Hitler’s Germany simply ceases to exist. In Mikhail Gorbachev’s words, “One of the most powerful states in the world collapsed before our very eyes.”


Less than two weeks ago Gorbachev was telling George Bush on the telephone how confident he was that the Soviet Union would survive. At the time he had reason to believe that he would continue as president and would be residing indefinitely in the state dacha here in Razdory, on the banks of the Moscow River.

Conor O’Clery, Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union

Throughout most of my academic career, the Soviet Union was the biggest beast in my field of study, and one of the world’s two superpowers. It possessed the largest territory in the world, a vast arsenal of nuclear and conventional weapons and an unparalleled array of security services. None of its guns or policemen could save it. One day in 1991 it disappeared from the map of the globe, and it has never been seen since.

Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms

The collapse of communism in 1989 was one of the greatest events of human history—one of the most sudden, unexpected, dramatic, and utterly transformative.

THE GODLESSNESS THAT FAILED, by Michael Novak, First Things, June 2000

The collapse of the communistic system and Marxist-Leninist ideology came so suddenly, so unexpectedly that publications on the current scene became antiquated overnight. The handbook Operation World, published in 1986, for example, had this to say about the Soviet Union:

Pray that the active efforts of atheist teachers, discriminatory laws, secret police and prisons to speed the demise of Christianity may not only fail, but that the church may emerge victorious.

In 1985 the new leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev vowed he would achieve what his predecessors failed to achieve the elimination of religious belief in the USSR. Pray that his failure may be abundantly demonstrated in coming years!

Wow! Talk about an answer to prayer!

The Marxist-Leninist system, which conquered over a fourth of the earth’s land surface and resulted in the loss of millions and millions of lives and incalculable human suffering, which forbade a billion people to hear and believe the gospel, all but evaporated almost overnight. George F. Kennan, who drafted America’s cold war policy, said that events of recent years in the former Soviet Union have been some of the most significant events in the history of mankind.

On Being a World Christian, By William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith

Who would have ever guessed the Soviet Union would fall so suddenly? Isn’t that a classic example of a Black Swan?

Our Ghost Fleet Nightmare

These Black Swans got us to thinking about a lot of things…things we remembered from our dark days of discovery back in China when we first got this assignment. There were days I hated the assignment.

I remember one day, just before lunch, I was showing my team the famous video of the tank man in Tiananmen Square.

I wanted to get their attention related to the following passage out of the novel, Ghost Fleet

The picture shifted to the iconic photo of the green Chinese People’s Liberation Army tank bulldozing into the Ministry of Public Security’s riot-control truck as the crowd in Shanghai’s People’s Square cheered the soldiers on.

“This is so important, so pay attention, ” said Simmons. “You all know the history of the Directorate. When the world economy cratered after Dhahran, the old Chinese Communist Party couldn’t keep things humming. Their big mistake was calling in the military to put down the urban worker’s riots, thinking that the troops would do their dirty work for them, just like back in ’89. They failed to factor in that a new generation of more professional military and business elite saw the problem differently than they did. Turned out the new guard viewed the nepotism and corruption of those “little princes” who had just inherited their power as a bigger threat to China’s stability than the rioters. They booted them out…

Ghost Fleet

And then Paula responded by showing us this…

Perhaps nothing exemplifies the complexities of speaking about China in an American academic setting more than the experience of David Shambaugh, a political science professor at George Washington University and one of America’s best-known China experts. In March 2015, Shambaugh published a widely circulated article in The Wall Street Journal arguing that “the endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun.” Shambaugh’s piece forthrightly addressed his views on the most sensitive issue in China. “Communist rule in China is unlikely to end quietly,” he wrote. “Its demise is likely to be protracted, messy and violent. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Mr. Xi will be deposed in a power struggle or coup d’état.”

The Other Political Correctness, By ISAAC STONE FISH, The New Republic, September 4, 2018

That had our attention – and the anxiety of our whole team.

Because this is what we wanted…

Regime security is the number one concern for China’s Communist Party: it wants to maintain permanent rule of China’s government, and replace capitalism with “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, and replace Western civilization with Chinese civilization.

Statement Submitted by Dr. YANG Jianli, To the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing titled, “Dissidents Who Have Suffered for Human Rights in China: A Look Back and A Look Forward”, Dec.7, 2016

Our next president’s China policy needs to address the heart of the problem: The external assertiveness of the Chinese Communist party (CCP) emanates from its internal repression. As Aaron Friedberg has pointed out, “the party’s desire to retain power shapes every aspect of national policy. When it comes to external affairs, it means that Beijing’s ultimate aim is to ‘make the world safe for authoritarianism,’ or at least for continued one-party rule in China.”

Toward a Free and Democratic China: Overhauling U.S. strategy in Asia, by Dan Blumenthal and William Inboden, The Weekly Standard, May 18, 2015

‘Social stability’ is the most pressing socio-political issue driving the governance agenda in China today. It is generally understood to refer to the political and social security that accompanies orderly and stable social relations within communities and between individuals and the state at large. The imperative of stability maintenance stems from the anxieties and uncertainties of the party-state, which fears that destabilizing social activities may threaten not only the success of China’s economic agenda but also, more crucially, political stability and, ultimately, the very survival of the Party and the People’s Republic China as it is presently constituted. Growing social dissent has seriously called into question the capacity of the Chinese Communist Party to manage China’s society efficiently and effectively, while, at the same time, preserving control over it in a legitimate fashion.

China’s Rigid Stability – Yu Jianrong 于建嵘 analyses a predicament, by Jason Todd, The China Story, 27 January 2013

Xi wants “rule by law,” but this means using the courts more energetically to carry out political repression and change the bureaucracy’s style of work. He wants to reform the universities, not in order to create Western-style academic freedom but to bring academics and students to heel (including those studying abroad). He has launched a thorough reorganization of the military, which is intended partly to make it more effective in battle, but also to reaffirm its loyalty to the Party and to him personally. The overarching purpose of reform is to keep the Chinese Communist Party in power.

Who is Xi?, by Andrew J. Nathan, The New York Review of Books, May 12, 2016

And, that is what Shih Tzu is all about…keep the power, baby.

I remember a conflict I had with Shih Tzu back in the day when he was still on our team. We were watching the movie Inception in order to explore what possible implications it may have for the pursuit of our China Dream.

And in the midst of the film, Shih Tzu suddenly stood up — and whenever he stood up, his ‘team within a team’ stood up with him — and Shih Tzu said, “Comrade Chow, please stop the movie. I have something very important to tell you.”

But the loyalists who were left on my team had decided that the next time he did this they would also rise and do spin moves. So they did, which only increased Shih Tzu’s intensity level.

“Are you aware, Comrade Chow — do you even care, Comrade Chow — of the arrival of the new novel Ghost Fleet?”

“I have heard of it, yes,” I answered. “Everybody’s talking about it.”

“But you are aware, aren’t you, that the book is a story of a future in which our Party and our beloved President are no longer in power?” he asked.

“I had heard of that also,” I said.  “And could you tell us why such a fantasy concerns you?”

His face began to contort.

Fantasy!? Aren’t you the head of a specially selected team which is assigned the task of consider the question, ‘Will the United States Survive Until 2025?’ with the possibility in mind that Christianity may be true? And haven’t we begun to learn that black swans fly throughout the Bible? And doesn’t that mean that if Christianity is the story we are in, that what you are calling a fantasy in front of everyone standing here is really a possibility since the Active Protagonist in the story of all nations so often sends those black swans flying into the unfolding drama of the nations? Shouldn’t that concern you?”

I was silent, waiting to see what he would do or say next. And then he said something which really jolted me.

“What if, Comrade Chow, the Active Protagonist in the story of the nations intends to turn out the lights on the Party as part of his plan to elevate China above the United States? What if Ghost Fleet is a strange prophecy — a strange hint — of what is to come? If that could be the case, shouldn’t we try to preserve our power by running a sprint instead of jogging a Hundred Year Marathon?”

I remember snicker to myself at that last part– a bit of confused thinking, of course.

If Christianity is the story we are in, and the active protagonist in the story intends to turn out the lights on the Party before completing China’s elevation over the United States, then how could we stop him?

But anyway, after Shih Tzu’s unnerving rant about Ghost Fleet, I asked Paula Wong if I could borrow her copy of that book, which she had been quietly grabbing small snatches of time to read during the day.

So, I withdrew to my office, pulled down the blinds, and began to read. It grabbed my attention so much that when Shih Tzu came bursting through the door as the day was almost done, it literally shocked me.

He saw the shock and was pleased. And then he noticed the book in my hands.

“So, you are going to pay attention to what I said earlier,” he proclaimed. “That is wise of you, given the fragility of this team.”

I took a deep breath.

“Shih Tzu, what can I do for you here at the end of the day?”

“You must begin to pay more attention to Ghost Fleet,” he said with his usual intensity. “It’s bigger than you think.”

And then he turned on his heels and walked out.

I just shook my head. When was this snake going to just crawl away into the Gobi Desert and leave me alone? But right after he left, Paula Wong, quietly slipped into the office.

“He can’t stop, can he?” she asked.

I smiled. I was always smiling at her, now and back then.

“It doesn’t look like he ever will,” I said.

I was filled with angst back then, and even more so now.

What if Shih Tzu wins over the Central Military Commission and they take an action which creates a gap – which ends our Party?

As you can imagine, one thing which continues to trouble us is the reality that, if our version of the story is the one we are in, then all this speculation about these what if possibilities is ultimately – and intrinsically — meaningless.

And so is the Communist Party of China.

And my love relationship with Paula.

But even though I am burdened with this and continue to struggle, I am not going to give up hope.

I just can’t.

So now, let me tell you about something else we are speculating about in relation to these mysterious Black Swans.

I know it’s crazy for me to speculate about these things. But I have to do that for this assignment. And because Robert McKee led us to see the power of story, we are wondering about the possibility of setups…

A turning point punches a hole in reality. Curiosity compels the audience members to fill the hole with knowledge, so their thoughts rush back through previous scenes and images, looking for an unseen cause, trying to solve the mystery of “Why?” The answer has been planted beneath the story’s setups. The moment the audience glimpses this hidden truth, it erupts with an “Oh, yeah, now I get it!” insight that both delights and enlightens.

Storynomics, By Robert McKee and Tom Gerace

To express our vision scene by scene we crack open the surface of our fictional reality and send the audience back to gain insight. These insights, therefore, must be shaped into Setups and Payoffs. To set up means to layer in knowledge; to pay off means to close the gap by delivering that knowledge to the audience. When the gap between expectations and result propels the audience back through the story seeking answers, it can only find them if the writer has prepared or planted these insights in their work.

Robert McKee, Story

Setups must be handled with great care. They must be planted in such a way that when the audience first sees them, they have one meaning, but with a rush of insight, they take on a second, more important meaning. It’s possible, in fact, that a single setup may have meanings hidden to a third or fourth level.

Robert McKee, Story

So, look at this setup possibility related to the nation of Israel…

Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar — the Lord of hosts is his name:

“If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.”

Thus says the Lord:

“If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 31:35-37

There it is again – loyal steadfast love. He is promising that he won’t abandon them.

So you can see why we are now speculating about the existence of the nation of Israel. As their seventy year anniversary came into play, Paula helped me see that it was a total Black Swan…

Today is the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, which commemorates something as close to a miracle as we are ever likely to see — the re-creation of an ancient state in the Land in which it stood 2,000 years before, the resurrection of an ancient language to provide for common discourse, the ingathering of millions of exiles who had no other place to live, the creation of a democracy that extended citizenship not only to Jews but also to Arabs in the midst of an Arab war to destroy the state, the safeguarding of all holy places of all religions and the provision of free access to them, the creation and maintenance of a free and vibrant civil society while under continuous terrorist attack and multiple genocidal wars, and the growth of the nation from a third-world economy into one of the most technologically advanced in the world. It is no exaggeration to say, in the words of Hillel Halkin, that “for all its shortcomings and mistakes, Israel is and will always be one of the most glorious historical adventures in the history of mankind.”

There Could Have Been Two Independence Days, by Rick Richman, April 20, 2010

The reestablishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, has been described by one Jewish commentator as “the most spectacular event in nearly two millennia of Jewish history.” It is difficult to dispute such a claim, especially in light of the preceding Holocaust and the near total annihilation of Jewish life in Europe. Many Christian commentators, particularly dispensationalists, have hailed Israel’s restoration as the “greatest miracle of our time,” the “infallible sign of the approach of the end times,” and the “paramount prophetic sign” of Christ’s return.

Dispensationalism And Love For Israel, By Paul R. Wilkinson, Bibliotheca Sacra, October-December 2012

The presence of Israel today as a nation and its continual significance in contemporary world affairs, we believe, call for increasing theological consideration. That God has been providentially involved in the historically unique preservation of the people of Israel up to this point is difficult to deny. That he has done so because Israel yet has a role to play in his plan for the world seems most reasonable in the light of the prophetic Scriptures.

A Rationale For The Future Of Israel, By Robert L. Saucy, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 1985

The state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Return to Zion, the historic homeland, was an “unprecendented drama, an event sui generis for which there is no model, no analogy.” The state of Israel came as a surprise. Never before had a nation been restored to its ancient cradle after being dispersed abroad for nearly nineteen hundred years. For this reason, Israel today is an anomaly in the Middle East. She differs from her neighbors demographically in that most of her citizens were born outside her borders.


At the very least, the preservation of Israel and her return to the land are remarkable signs. They remind us that the Bible is a drama that is unfinished and that God’s sovereign purposes will yet be brought to completion in and through his covenant people.

Zionism As Theology: An Evangelical Approach, By Marvin R, Wilson, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 1979

The existence of the modern state of Israel is nothing short of miraculous. It is a land of slightly under eight thousand square miles, or slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, directly surrounded by six Muslim Arab states, in a region of twenty-two Muslim countries. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has been invaded by armies vastly superior in number, and it has often been attacked by terrorists bent on destroying the nation. Israel was founded and continues as a democracy, even including in its government individuals who do not entirely support its existence. Despite all this, Israel has not only survived, but has also prospered.

The Future of National Israel, By H. Wayne House, Bibliotheca Sacra, October 2009

And given that no story moves forward without conflict, look what has not gone away…

Obama and his negotiators seem surprised that Israelis take quite seriously Iranian leaders’ taunts over the past 35 years that they would like to liquidate the Jewish state and everyone in it. The Israelis, for some reason, remember that well before Hitler came to power, he had bragged about the idea of killing Jews en masse in his sloppily composed autobiographical Mein Kampf. Few in Germany or abroad had taken the raving young Hitler too seriously. Even in the late 1930s, when German Jews were being rounded up and haphazardly killed on German streets by state-sanctioned thugs, most observers considered such activities merely periodic excesses or outbursts from non-governmental Black- and Brownshirts.

Israeli Preemptive Action, Western Reaction, By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, August 4, 2015

Seventy years later, a lust for Jewish blood is a staple of Islamic State, Hezbollah and Hamas, whose charter calls for the elimination of Israel. Iran’s leaders call Israel “Little Satan” and vow to wipe it off the map.

In important ways, then, not much has changed. Jew hatred remains mainstream enough to flourish in the sunshine as well as the shadows, including at major American university campuses and European parliaments. Year in, year out, Jews are the victims of most of the religious hate crimes in the United States.

Some UN bodies exist to demonize Israel while ignoring wholesale slaughter and oppression in other lands. Indeed, if that partition proposal were submitted to a much-larger General Assembly today, it probably would not get majority support, let alone the two-thirds approval it got in 1947.

The miracle of Israel lives on 70 years later, By Michael Goodwin, New York Post, November 28, 2017

Although Trump reversed Obama’s tilt toward the Palestinians, neither president has had success in changing the essential dynamics: The violent refusal of Palestinian elements to accept Israel’s right to exist.

While much of the public debate is couched in terms of borders and settlements and sovereignty over Jerusalem, the larger truth is that Palestinians have pursued Israel’s destruction with more zeal than they applied to building their own state.

The miracle of Israel lives on 70 years later, By Michael Goodwin, New York Post, November 28, 2017

The deputy head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Monday that Tehran’s strategy was to eventually wipe Israel off the “global political map.”

Asked by a reporter in Tehran about Israeli threats to strike Iranian forces deployed in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami was quoted by Iranian news outlets as saying, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

He added: “We announce that if Israel does anything to start a new war, it will obviously be the war that will end with its elimination, and the occupied territories will be returned. The Israelis will not have even a cemetery in Palestine to bury their own corpses.”

Iran general says Tehran aims to wipe Israel off the ‘global political map’, By TOI STAFF, Times of Israel, 28 January 2019

Crazy to even think about these things, isn’t it?

But, in light of that ongoing conflict, Paula then showed me this passage, which is also certainly setup in the story for a day yet to come…

In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border.It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

Isaiah 19:19-25 

But now back to our problem.

The year 2018 was a seventy-year mark for Israel.

The year 2019 is a seventy-year mark for China.

And, with Paula’s mind still spinning at warp speed she showed me a passage from the book of the prophet Daniel…

In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom — in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.

Daniel 9:1-2

Your theologians know more about these things than we do, but our studies have led us to believe that what Daniel is referring to is this passage out of the book of Jeremiah…

Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

“But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever. I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

Jeremiah 25:8-14

And that passage made her think of our seventy-year anniversary. So, now I’m thinking too…and to be candid, ‘sweating bullets’, as she said flatly, “Remember, in 2019, on September 21, the Party will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of our rise to power.”

I needed relief and blurted out, “But, what could that prophecy possibly have to do with us?”

“Obviously nothing at all — if our version of the story is true,” she said slowly.

And then she went on, putting it all ‘on the table’. “But… if the Christian version of the story is true, we could have a problem on our hands.”

I knew she was right, and whispered, “What if we fall into some kind of mysterious 70-year category?”

Check this out …

So the socioeconomic conditions conducive to a democratic breakthrough already exist in China today. Maintaining one-party rule in such a society is getting more costly and soon will be utterly futile.

This brings us to the second number, 74—the longest lifespan enjoyed by a one-party regime in history, that of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1917-1991). …. Social scientists have yet to discover why one-party regimes, arguably the most sophisticated of all modern-day autocracies, cannot survive beyond their seventh decade in power. What is important to note is that systemic crises in such regimes typically emerge about a decade before their ultimate fall. In the Soviet Union, it was the combination of the stagnation of the Brezhnev era and the ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan. In Mexico, the stolen presidential election of 1988 delegitimized the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s rule.

The Chinese Communist Party has governed for 62 years. If history offers any guidance, it is about to enter its crisis decade, and probably has at most 10-15 years left on its clock.

Communist China’s Perilous Phase, by Minxin Pei, Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2012

We wondered together–how will the story of the Party unfold?

So, Paula and I are stunned as we began thinking the impossible about our situation.

We have no doubt China as a nation is going to displace America as the preeminent power in the world. But… what if the Party has its own 70 year clock – and that clock is ticking?

After all, our 70 year anniversary came in October 2019 .

“But,” Paula reminded me, “This is obviously all total speculation, because there is no mention of such a category in those passages in the Bible.”

“But Paula,” I said, still as ‘tight as a drum’, “there appears to be something mysterious going on in unfolding drama of history. And — if Christianity is the story we are in – what if God the Great Storyteller intends to elevate China over the United States and then send the Party packing? 

Because, well…

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

Psalm 135:6

So, you can imagine why this song irritates my insomnia…

Willie Nelson – The Party’s Over