Written in 2014
Back in the 1990s, America emerged as the one remaining superpower, as the Soviet Union was dissolved, the Iron Curtain came down and the Cold War was ended. US President George H W Bush gave speeches in which he spoke about a ‘New World Order’ based on east-west cooperation and global governance bringing peace and justice to the world.
He said, ‘Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order in which the principles of justice and fair play protect the weak against the strong. A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfil the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. We have within our reach the promise of renewed America. We can find meaning and reward serving some purpose higher than ourselves—a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light.’
Pope John Paul II spoke of his hope for a united Europe from ‘the Atlantic to the Urals’ (i.e. including Russia) with the borders of the European Union extended to the east. He saw Mikhail Gorbachev, the architect of ‘perestroika’ which led to the end of Communist rule in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, as the presiding officer for this union. Gorbachev also used the term ‘New World Order’ to describe the super power union which he hoped would emerge out of the end of the Cold War.
Out of this came the inclusion of Russia into the G7 group of nations of leading industrialised nations, which met to discuss and manage the global economy, thus making it the G8. Global institutions like the IMF, World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the G20 were strengthened. The EU was expanded to include the former Communist countries of eastern Europe and set up its own currency, the Euro. Other unions or associations of states came into being or were proposed, like Mercosur in South America, NAFTA in North America, the ASEAN bloc of nations in East Asia and the Africa Union.
After the first Gulf War, which President Bush saw as a signpost to the New World Order, the Middle East became a key area of concern. The US established a permanent U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf, provided funds for Middle East development, and instituted safeguards against the spread of unconventional weapons. The Madrid Conference of 1991 hosted by Spain, and co-sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union, aimed to achieve an Arab-Israeli peace treaty. This was based on the land for peace principle, setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel and concluding an end to the conflict, with Israel’s security established.
There were many critics of the ‘New World Order.’ Those on the left politically saw it as a form of US Imperialism being imposed on the world. Those on the right saw it as a way in which America along with Europe was being merged into a socialist leaning world union, with individual nations handing over power to entities like the EU and the UN.
Bible prophecy teachers saw it as the way in which the antichrist world government of Revelation 13 would come in. In particular Bush’s reference to ‘the illumination of a thousand points of light’ in his ‘New World Order’ speech led many to connect this with the Illuminati, an occult based group of elitists who are said to conspire to control world affairs. American televangelist Pat Robertson, with his 1991 best- selling book ‘The New World Order’, became the most prominent Christian populariser of conspiracy theories along these lines describing a scenario where Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission control the flow of events from behind the scenes, nudging people constantly and covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist.
Now we are more than 20 years on from all this and the talk is more of a New World Disorder as the world becomes more and more chaotic. One article from Prophecy News Watch put it like this: ‘It’s a chaotic world out there. But we’d better get used to it; this may be the new normal. The Middle East is in flames, not only Gaza but Syria, Iraq and Libya as well. Russia is massing troops on the border of Ukraine. Central Africa is a mess, as are Afghanistan and Pakistan. Parts of Mexico and Central America are ruled by criminal gangs and drug cartels. And those are merely the crises big enough to command front-page attention.’
‘This is historically unprecedented,’ former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski told Foreign Policy magazine recently. ‘Huge swathes of global territory are dominated by populist unrest, anger and effective loss of state control.’ He pointed out that chaos is breaking out simultaneously in many regions, and that governments are less capable of meeting those challenges than before. Brzezinski was one of the founders of the Trilateral Commission – a globalist organisation backed by Nelson Rockefeller and considered to be one of the building blocks of the New World Order. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, also commented on the growing global chaos drawing particular attention to the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the Middle East. Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton declared that under President Obama’s ineffective leadership, ‘the world’s descending into chaos’ and if America continues to pull back internationally, ‘you’re going to have anarchy increasing. You can see that in the Middle East today, but signs of it exist everywhere.’
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Haass and John Bolton could all be described as the architects of the New World Order of previous US administrations. Now they are talking of the world descending into chaos. Some of the signs of this:
The old east / west split has re-emerged after the EU drew Ukraine into its sphere of influence, infuriating the Russians who wanted it to be part of the Eurasian Union it is setting up in the territories of the former Soviet Union. Russian speakers in the east of Ukraine also rejected the EU link and sought union with Russia, resulting in civil war in the country with widespread death and destruction. Russia was accused of invading Ukraine with troops and armaments being used to help the rebels. Vladimir Putin told the West to ‘get out of Russia’s back yard’ and not to ‘mess with nuclear armed Russia’.
The west responded with sanctions against Russia, the latest ones targeting it oil and gas industry, which accounts for about half of its budget revenues. Russia threatened to cut gas exports to Europe which would plunge the continent into an energy crisis. Russia is also working with its allies in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to change the global economic system from dollar supremacy. It wants to replace the dollar as the world’s ‘reserve currency’ and end the ‘petrodollar’ system whereby virtually all oil and natural gas around the world has been bought and sold for U.S. dollars. This threatens to cause the collapse of the US economy. For reasons for this go to http://ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the- collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system/ All of this seems to be pushing the world back to the east-west conflict as in the days of the Cold War.
The Islamic world is racked with chaos in particular in Iraq and Syria where ISIS / the Islamic State has taken control of a large area of territory in Syria and Iraq and declared itself to be the Islamic Caliphate. Terrible suffering has been visited on the people living there with crucifixions and beheadings being inflicted on any the Islamic fanatics deem to be their enemies – Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and Muslims who do not support them. Around 500,000 people have been driven from their homes, as Christians and other non Muslim groups being given a choice to convert to Islam or die. IS has seized huge quantities of weapons and money and is recruiting jihadis from around the world. Its stated goals are to take control of the rest of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan on its way to overrunning Israel, eliminating the Jewish state as it establishes its Islamic Caliphate over the region.
Libya’s new parliament can only meet in Tobruk on the country’s eastern border because armed militia groups have taken over its main cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. The number of dead in Syria’s civil war is approaching 200,000 with much of the country in ruins, millions driven from their homes. Boko Haram, an Islamist terror group similar to ISIS has taken over large areas of northern Nigeria where it is killing Christians, destroying their churches and driving them from their homes. Islamic terrorism is threatening nations across sub Saharan Africa from Mali to Somalia.
Out of the disorder in the Middle East, Africa and Central America there are now multitudes seeking to escape as refugees into Europe and the USA. A gateway into the European Union for thousands of migrants from Asia and Africa, Greece is home to more than 1 million undocumented migrants, who face growing hostility as the country struggles through a six-year recession and record unemployment. The French city of Calais has become a battle ground as illegal immigrants try to make their way into Britain. Some 60,000 have crossed the Rio Grande river from Mexico into the USA in the past 6 months, including unaccompanied children.
Bishop Nazir-Ali has warned that Britain’s “underclass” – half a million problem families – is “only the tip of an iceberg which is lurking to shipwreck society”. He says the political, social and spiritual challenge facing the UK is “a tsunami of social disintegration waiting to happen”. He traces the problem of family failure to the assault on Christian moral values in the country and the dismantling of the value of marriage as the ideal family structure. Bible teacher Clifford Hill wrote: ‘In 1980 I published a book, ‘Towards the Dawn’ saying that all the pillars of society in Britain would crumble unless there was repentance and turning. Today, we are on the brink of catastrophe: the pillars of society are crumbling – the family, the economy, the church – all are being shaken as corruption and abuse are exposed; the bankers, the politicians, the police, the social services, the journalists, and the celebrities. Last year Britain crossed a red line in passing a law to re-define marriage which is part of God’s creation and judgement became inevitable.’
These conditions of world disorder are a sign of the soon coming of the Lord. In Jeremiah 25.32 we read: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, disaster shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth. And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.’ Jeremiah 25.32.
Jesus said it would be ‘as in the days of Noah’ and ‘as in the days of Lot’ in the last days before His return. The Bible describes the days of Noah, before the flood, as days of great wickedness on the earth, when the earth was ‘corrupt before God’ and ‘filled with violence’ (Genesis 6). The days of Lot are described in Genesis 19 when Lot sat in the gate of Sodom and was subjected to its gross sexual depravity and wickedness.
In these days the nations will be in rebellion against God and subject to the spirit of antichrist as we see in the prophetic Psalm 2. This Psalm describes the Second Coming of Messiah and the conditions at the time: ‘Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ Psalm 2.1-3. The word used for ‘anointed’ here is Messiah, so the Psalm is saying that the nations and their rulers will be against the Lord and His Messiah (Christ). In other words they will be antichrist. The antichrist spirit will lead them to want to cast away the laws of God and fight against the kingdom of God.
Out of this spirit of lawlessness and antichrist spirit will arise the Man of Sin or the Antichrist who will arrive on the world stage in the last days of this age: ‘The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ 2 Thessalonians 2.
Revelation 13 speaks of ‘the beast’ who ‘arises out of the sea’ and is given power and authority over the earth by the dragon (representing Satan): And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ Revelation 13.5-8.
In Luke 21.25 Jesus spoke of His Second Coming: ‘And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’
The phrase ‘distress of nations with perplexity (aporia in Greek)’ implies a world crisis with no way out. The sea and the waves roaring can mean literal calamities caused by great tsunamis and storms hitting the earth, but also the ‘sea’ of humanity ‘roaring’ against God. This could also explain why the beast of Revelation 13 arises ‘out of the sea’. He comes out of humanity in rebellion against God. He may appear as a Saviour to many, but he will be a deceiver who leads the world to its final calamity before the Second Coming of Christ.
Revelation 6, the famous ‘four horsemen of the Apocalypse’ passage, describes this sequence of events. Firstly the rider on the white horse, the Antichrist, goes forth, ‘conquering and to conquer.’ He is followed by the red horse who comes ‘to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another’. He is followed by the rider on the black horse who brings widespread famine and then the pale horse bringing death to a fourth of the population of the earth. Those who remain on the earth at this time and turn to the Lord will face persecution and martyrdom for their faith. Finally great earthquakes will take place as ’ the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ Revelation 6.15-17.
The kings of the earth – those who are described as scoffing at the Lord and His Messiah in Psalm 2 – and all those who reject Him will end up facing the ‘wrath of the Lamb’ – Jesus the Messiah who is coming to judge the world in righteousness and bring an end to this present age and rule in righteousness. Today we can ‘flee the wrath to come’ by repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, who died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins and rose again from the dead to give eternal life to all who believe in Him.
At some point in the future, maybe the not too distant future, the Lord Jesus will take all those who have turned to Him in the event known as the Rapture of the Church: ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.’ 1 Thessalonians 4.16-18.
Make sure now that you are ready for this event by accepting salvation through Jesus the Messiah. This is a prayer you can pray to accept salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.