The present economic crisis faced by most of Asia and Russia and recently Brazil, is strong proof that the economic systems in the world are not functioning as well as man would want them to be. The crisis that started from the depreciation of the Thai baht in mid-1997 has brought financial turmoil that had wiped out billions of ringgit of wealth within such a short period of time. In some cases, this has also caused social disorders, political upheavals, riots and deaths. The contagion effect reflects the high degree of interdependency of national economies and the increasingly integration of the world.
On the political front, while the rivalry arising from the cold wars has somewhat subsided due to the collapse of communism in Russia, world peace is still not achieved. Today we are threatened by the instability in the Middle East and the Balkan states, the internal strife in a number of African countries and the unpredictability of rogue nations like North Korea and Iraq. Increasingly, current political events are reshaping the foreign policies of the nations involved, especially the superpowers like the USA and EU. The most profound change will undoubtedly be in the area of military intervention as is seen in the peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and Bosnia.
Ironically in spite of man’s advances in technology and maturity towards becoming a more civilized society, we continue to face turbulent times. We continue to hear "wars and commotion (Luke 21:9) with nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" (Luke 21:10). Therefore, judging from the current political and economic scenario, it would be true to say that the world is in disorder. It is not surprising that more world leaders are calling for a ‘new world order’.
On the economic front, many have called for a new world financial architecture to deal with capital flows and a more open multi-lateral trading and investment regime. Politically, many have asked for a revamp of the United Nations especially its peacekeeping role and the membership of its Security Council. Moreover, there is an increasing tendency for interference in domestic political issues by foreign countries. From the natural perspective, all these changes are considered as part of a process of adjustment due to market forces and changes in geopolitical balance of power. In contrast, from the spiritual perspective, all these happenings are part of a rearrangement of the current world order towards a new one. This manifestation is to bring into reality a new world order to support the coming of the antichrist as stated in Daniel 8:23-25 and Revelation 13.
Modus Operandi of the Antichrist
Revelation 13 seems to describe the modus operandi of the antichrist. It reveals his objective, where his support will come from, the extent of his control and the methods he will use to bring total submission to his will.
Firstly, the antichrist has spiritual backing from Satan as stated in Revelation 13:2 "the dragon gave him (the beast) his power, his throne and great authority". As Satan is the "prince of the world" (John 12:13), the antichrist is in the position to manipulate the events and things in the world. He would be able to manipulate people, institutions and create conditions that will foster elements in support of his goals. As Satan is the "father of lies" (John 8:44), the antichrist will use deception as the basis to bring about an order of things to support his scheme. Moreover, as he has "great wisdom in trade" (Ezekiel 28:5) he would exploit the economic system of the world to his advantage.
Secondly, the antichrist will receive political legitimacy and be accepted by the masses worldwide as seen in Revelation 13:3 which states "all the world marveled and followed the beast" and in Revelation 13:7 "the authority given him over every tribe, tongue and nation".
Finally, the antichrist will have the means to enforce submission of his authority through coercion (Revelation 13:15 "and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed") and the use of economic deprivation (Revelation 13:16-17 "He causes all….to receive the mark….and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark.")
In order for the antichrist to do all the above on a worldwide basis, he will need to rule the world with power in the areas of economics, politics and religion. In other words, there must exist a one world economic system, one world political system and a universal religious order. Currently, events are taking place in all these areas simultaneously but would converge towards consolidating into a new world order where attributes of the economic, political and religious orders will become more mutually reinforcing to bring about the consolidation of powers in the hands of the antichrist.
The manipulation and the deception of mankind have been carried out subtly over a long period of time. As is often said in military strategy "a war won without a battle being fought and without the enemy knowing that you have won is the best strategy". Of course, the Almighty God being omnipotent is all-knowing and has the power to carry out in effect whatever He wills (Jeremiah 32:17). In contrast, man’s ability is finite and limited. He can be misled by the things of the world. Therefore, man is spurred into the direction of the new world order by his search for sustainable prosperity, peace and political freedom and stability. The speed and depth of change will be facilitated by advances in technology, economic liberalization or globalization (in the name of free market capitalism) and the conditioning of a modern society through the mass media and communications.
In this spiritual warfare, the bottom line is the salvation of man and hence the severing of man’s relationship with God is the means to this end. Many people including Christians will fall away from God due to their lack of knowledge of these happenings. As Hosea 4:6 states "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" and Isaiah 5:13 "therefore My people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge."
This paper presents a spiritual overview of the evolution of the new world order. Its primary purpose is to help Christians to be watchful and understand the events that are taking place that could bring into existence this new world order. Organizations such as the United Nations [UN], International Monetary Fund [IMF], World Trade Organization [WTO], etc., which are mentioned hereinafter, may well have begun with noble humanitarian purposes and do have good people in their employment. We are merely following the traditions of the biblical prophets in trying to identify the possible components or types of organizations that Satan and the antichrist may well use to constitute the "Babylon" that will find its fullest expression and fulfillment as the new world order. Thus, we are speaking spiritually or typologically and not disparaging personally any organizations.
The New World Economic Order
One of the strongest carnal characteristics of man is his love of money. The main means to engage man’s participation in the new world order is the unleashing of the power of money. As Ecclesiastes 11:5 states "A feast is made for laughter and wines makes merry; but money answers everything." Hence, one of the keys to understand end-time events is to have knowledge and wisdom about the power of money and the system that generates it.
The ultimate aim of the one world economic order is to bring about the destruction of the nation state through the creation of a more borderless and integrated world. It inevitably ties man’s or the nation’s economic wellbeing or standard of living with the need to be interdependent with the global trading and financial systems. Intensification of competition of firms and nations, coupled with the speed and pervasiveness of new technological advances, have made globalization of domestic economy essential to any quest for the sustainable prosperity of a nation. Finally, in a global and open economic environment, wealth will be gained most by the fittest because of their control of technology. Consequently, this will facilitate the transfer of wealth and its power to an oligarchy of the elite. As the Bible states that the wealth of the unrighteous will be transferred to the righteous (Proverbs13:22 "the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous."), will it not be logical that the enemy will try to make sure that this does not happen or to reverse the process?
Supranational organizations such as the IMF which deals with financial capital flows and the WTO which deals with international trading of goods and services, promote globalization. Although these institutions are multi-lateral in nature, their policies are determined mainly by the industrialized nations, especially the U.S.A. and the EU. In the evolution of a new world order, these institutions are the means to create a more integrated world economy which will form the platform for a more integrated political system leading to a one world government. Working behind the scenes are secret think tanks, groups and societies such as the Illuminati, the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome and the Bildlerberger Group that are influencing national policies. These groups have the common goal of promoting a new world order which will include the integration of the political and economic systems of nations. Members of these groups consist of the powerful elite who controls a substantial proportion of the world’s wealth (in many cases, many times greater than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Malaysia and other small nations). They also exercise great political influence in the nation where they are domiciled and they in turn influence policies that extend to other parts of the world. These low profile groups network among themselves and in many cases have common members in their core membership.
The New World Political Order
For the new world order to function in accordance to the authority given to the antichrist, he must possess the powers to enforce compliance of the masses to laws, regulations or decrees. Therefore a one world government (a universal republic according to some secret societies) must come into existence for this to happen. The prophet Daniel spoke of the coming of a fifth empire, after the Roman Empire, in the last days (Daniel 2:41,42). Revelation 13:1 mentions the coming into existence of a conglomeration of ten nations, which gave their sovereign rights to the antichrist (Revelation 17:12,13).
The world today consists of 193 nations. One would wonder how ten nations or groups of nations could come together and give the antichrist its political power. One possibility is that the world would evolve into ten economic regional groupings or trading blocks such as the EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, etc. While it is true today that some of these groupings are already in existence, more of these groupings will evolve due to the economic necessity to globalize. With the exception of the EU, all of these groupings are basically economic in nature and political powers are still in the hands of each member nation. Some have advocated that the ten nations could come from the EU since it resembles the previous Roman Empire and that it has reached a level of political maturity where there is an European Parliament.
The other possibility is the UN and specifically the permanent membership of its Security Council that decides on peacekeeping and world security issues. The role of the UN is today under review and its functions and organization are being considered for reform. The instability in the Balkan States, the Middle East, Africa and Central America has brought out the possible need for a world peacekeeping force under the UN that could be deployed fairly quickly to any part of the world. To be aware of the coming of the one world political order, it is necessary to keep watch on the changes that are taking place in the UN especially in its peacekeeping role. In the scheme of things, the UN could be the means to achieve political power from nation states by the antichrist. This could be made possible when the world falls into anarchy resulting in world peace being seriously threatened and that peace can only be secured through a universal collective effort. By this time, conditions in the world are such that nation states are weak especially if they have lost their economic sovereignty through globalization. In many cases, they might have no choice but to accede to the request to give their rights to govern to the world body. Impossible ? We must keep watch.
The Universal Religious Order
The biblical evidence that a universal religious order is in the process of evolution is in Revelation 13:11 which reveals the coming of a false prophet and in Revelation 17 which details the rise and fall of the world religious order. As the bottom line of the new world order is the severing of man’s relationship with God, the one world economic and political order will converge with the universal religious order. The world’s political-economic system will be used to support this religious order. The separation between the state and religion will be eliminated, bringing back the situation in ancient empires, especially the Babylonian Empire, where the purview of government and religion was the same. In such times, the state or its leader can prescribe religious practices and enforce compliance, usually with death penalty for offenders (Daniel 3). The same situation will exist during the reign of the antichrist.
The process of evolution towards a universal religion is already in place today. Although outwardly one cannot detect an obvious concerted movement in this direction, in the spiritual realm however, there is a spiritual conspiracy in this direction through the subtle propagation of false and counterfeit doctrines. New Age doctrines, occultic practices and unbiblical teachings of false christs and prophets (Mark 13:21,22) are already penetrating the society and even some Christian churches have included these as part of their belief for the sake of being liberal and modern. Our society is continuously being infiltrated by the values and doctrines of the ‘new consciousness’ such as the universality of religions and gods (syncretism), the emphasis on self including the ability of achieving godhood and, pantheism (the doctrine that the whole universe is God and that there is no personal God but the combined substance, forces and laws that are manifested in the existing universe). Even the monism of good and evil that advocates no distinction between good and evil is commonly preached. Ironically, while such teachings are perceived as modern, these false doctrines are really offsprings of ‘ancient mysteries’ coming from pagan beliefs that existed in the era before Christ’s birth. Generally, this universal religion will be very appealing to most people as its requirements are made for the convenience of man.
Although the problem of false doctrines existed since the days of the apostles, the awareness and the spread of false doctrines is more widespread in today’s age. The global coverage of telecommunications using the electronic media has to a great extent made this possible. Moreover, technology has facilitated their dissemination into individual households.
This religious liberalism will ultimately open man to demonic influences and hence remove man from his relationship with the one and only true God. For example, there are churches that include as apart of their teachings the occultic practices of yoga, transcendental meditation and Silva Mind Control.
The apostle Paul aptly described the condition of man in the last days:
"You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times. 2 People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless, 3 heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything that is good. 4 They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. 5 Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won’t be real. Don’t have anything to do with such people" (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
This liberalism and secularism with their peace and tolerance will only be temporary. Their pervasiveness will condition society to accept the substitution of the antichrist as a desirable god and to worship his image (Revelation 13). The one world government with the powers now entrusted to it will be able to enforce the decrees issued by the antichrist.
Technology - The Enabling Means
Like globalization which provides the platform for monitoring business transactions and movement of people, technology is the means that will sustain the new world order. The following are key technological advances that are of biblical significance as they could be used to support the advent of the new world order and provide the antichrist with the tools to enforce compliance to his decrees:
1. Digital technology that provides speedy transfer of funds, replacement of hard currency with digitized money, centralized depository of information on every person and also the fast dissemination of any information. For example, the electronic purse or wallet, a form of smart card, will enable payment of individual transactions through direct charging to a person’s bank account. At the same time, the authority supervising this system, such as the central bank, could trace each person’s spending history. The use of the electronic money will eliminate the need for hard currency and create a cashless society. In such a situation a person’s ability to buy and sell could be controlled if the need arise.
2. Microchip technology which facilitates effective personal identification and monitoring systems. For example, the new Malaysian passports will include an embedded chip containing the relevant information of the owner. Also for identification of animals, microchips are embedded underneath the skin of the animal. Today, the state of art of the technology allows for similar application to human beings.
3. Satellite technology which made possible mass communication worldwide and global remote surveillance and sensing. This will aid the spread of information (good and bad) to all parts of the earth and even inside individual homes. The global satellite positioning system allows the authorities to trace the whereabouts of individuals.
4. Biotechnology, especially genetic engineering, allows for the creation of more high yielding seeds but at the same time, leaves the control of food production in the hands of the few who holds the patent. An example of this is the invention of the ‘terminator seeds’ that are genetically-altered so that they will not generate if replanted the second time.
It is not surprising that the ability to enforce intellectual property and food production rights, which leads to the totalitarian control of technology, is one of the hottest issues today.
A schematic diagram showing the tripartite components or "trinitarian synergy" that are at play in the evolution of the new world order is provided below. This chart is provided as a useful basis to keep track of developments in the world so that all of us will hopefully be able to be more watchful of these end-time signs. It is absolutely important that while we watch the happenings in the world, we must keep constant reference to the Word of God and "pursue the knowledge of the Lord" (Hosea 6:3). As mentioned earlier, the bottom-line of all these developments is the salvation of mankind. Christians must be on guard so that they will not be seduced into the new religious order that is created to remove man’s relationship with our God. As Isaiah 33:6 says, "wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure." Christians must always be in the state of preparedness and as Revelation 16:15 God warns, "Behold I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walks naked and they see his shame". Likewise, Jesus warns us in Luke 21:34-36, "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Because of the iniquities of the mystery babylon (new world order) causing men to rebel against God and to persecute the children of God, God will destroy it. Rev.18:19-21 states, "For in one hour she (mystery babylon) is made desolate……..Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore’." God warns us in Rev.17:4 "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."
Finally, let us be in a continuous state of preparedness and "let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting in holiness out of reverence for God." (2 Cor.7:1)
Notes on the use and interpretation of the above diagram: All the elements shown in the diagram are not exhaustive and the reader may wish to add his/her own observations. It is hoped that this diagram will provide a basis for the reader to have an overall picture of the key elements that could form the new world order.
Institutions, technology and false doctrines are the underlying means providing the catalyst and the framework for the new world order to develop. All the elements shown do not take place in any order or sequence but in fact, are developing and shaping the world simultaneously.
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