Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, once made a startling and insightful statement about the Book of Revelation: “It’s really not that the book is hard to understand. The problem for most people is that it’s hard to believe.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in that. Often, skeptics will harp on the “difficult” aspects of the Bible, as if that negates them as reality. Of course, there are many fantastic passages of Scripture in the Bible, but their sensationalistic aspects shouldn’t disqualify them from being true.

Nowhere do we find this more applicable than in the apocalyptic visions and declarations from the prophets. Many of the predictions about the last days are so epic, the human mind attempts to dismiss them or worse, change them.

So it is with the assertions made in a chilling new book by Tom Horn, “Apollyon Rising 2012”. The book traces occult forces that have shaped and are shaping governments. Many skeptics can stick their heads in the sand, but Horn presents the research. Wishing his claims away won’t make them go away; they might be hard to believe, but they’re not hard to understand.

The book also addresses an often-discussed topic: was America founded as a Christian nation?

Interestingly, Horn’s book says yes … and no. If you mean by the Puritan arrival and early development of the land, then yes, the new world was Christian. There is at least compelling evidence, however, that later, during the Revolution, the fledgling country had at least influence from darker, even occult influences.

In fact, early on, several Founding Fathers are profiled, and what is uncovered (you’ll catch the pun when you read the book!) about Ben Franklin is quite revealing.

Horn, a key figure in the modern Bible-prophecy movement, has compiled enough detail to merit serious consideration.

One of the things I found most helpful about Horn’s approach is that he doesn’t get bogged down in verbosity. Simply put, he provides a tremendous amount of research but presents it in a clear, understandable writing style that makes this book accessible to the widest possible audience.

Horn admits that once, he had been arrogant in his attitudes toward those who contend that various conspiracies are designed to bring about globalism and an antichrist system. Now, after his research and investigations into supernaturalism and the occult, the author is finally able to admit that perhaps he had been wrong. He brings to this project an investigator’s eye and the heart of a believer. It’s a powerful combination that gives “Apollyon Rising 2012” realism.

Horn states that he feels the book’s real value is revealed “by showing that behind their matrix of illusion – which most citizens perceive as reality – is an arena of evil supernaturalism under which these human ‘conduits’ are willingly organized.”

The very premise of the book sounds like the plot from a sci-fi movie, but Horn’s research gives a certain plausibility to the idea that powerful individuals hatched a nefarious plan for global power a very long time ago and that certain individuals today are pushing this plan forward with all due speed. “Apollyon Rising 2012” also contains a fascinating link between Barack Obama and a 17th-century Muslim prophecy!

It is Horn’s research into the Great Seal of the United States, however, that forms the essence of the book. In fact, the author explains that many of the seemingly benign symbols of the Seal – such as the 13 leaves of the olive branch symbolizing the original 13 colonies – reveal much, much more to initiates of secret societies. I won’t reveal the meaning here, but the author’s conclusions are compelling.

One of the most valuable pieces of research Horn uncovers is the parallel realities occult forces have formed as a counterbalance to the Bible and God’s truth. In other words, many Christians don’t realize that occult practices have been developed since earliest times – during Sumerian and earlier civilizations – to provide a diabolical alternative to biblical teachings. It’s quite a fascinating section of the book.

In the end (get it?), “Apollyon Rising 2012” reads like a novel, but presents as fast-approaching reality. You can judge for yourself whether Horn’s assertions are valid. But he makes it hard for the reader to scoff.

Discover how real and relevant Bible prophecy is to you with Jim Fletcher’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine): How to stop worrying and learn to love these end times”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.