A New World Order and the emergence of The Antichrist
Prophecy of the coming
The prophet Daniel had a vision of a great statue:
The Seat of World Government?
Revelation 18 points to an end time political and commercial Babylon. Babel, one of the great cities of ancient Babylonia had a partly-built multi-storeyed tower - a monument to men not God. It is no accident that the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg has a similar, part-finished appearance; it was deliberately modelled on the unfinished tower of Babel in Genesis 11.
The end time world system is symbolised by a woman sitting on a seven-headed beast (Rev 17.3). This precise symbol is clearly portrayed in both the Brussels and Strasbourg buildings of the EU Parliament! A statue of a woman riding a beast is also found at the building of the Council of Europe in Brussels and in the German Maritime Museum.
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Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Gorbachev, George Bush, George W. Bush and Gordon Brown have all called for a "New World Order" or "World Government". Kissinger has said: "There is a need for a new world order". This is in line with biblical prophecy as we near the end of the present age. What sort of world government will it be?
In order to understand the end time world government we need to look at biblical prophecy. The prophet Daniel saw a vision of a great statue (Dan 2.31-35) and was told its interpretation (Dan 2.36-43). The statue symbolised four great empires that would reign over Israel. The vision is not concerned with most of the nations (or empires) of history, but only with those nations that had, or will have, a direct impact upon Israel. Historically these were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires, the Roman Empire being symbolised by the statue's legs of iron. Some see the iron legs symbolising the eastern and western empires of ancient Rome.
Note that the vision sees only four great empires, and these decrease in 'quality' with time (symbolised by gold, silver, brass and iron). Again, only four great empires are seen in Daniel's second vision:
"And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other." (Dan 7.3)
Daniel sees four great beasts arising from the 'sea' of humanity (Dan 7.1-8), and again these can be identifed as the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. But now there is a hint that the fourth beast maybe something else besides historic Rome. It was different from the other beasts; it had ten horns and it devoured the whole earth (Dan 7.7,23). The vision here appears to extend to the end of the present age.
Feet of Iron and Clay
As suggested, the two iron legs of Dan 2.33 probably symbolise the eastern and western empires of ancient Rome. But what of the feet of iron mixed with clay?
"... its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay." (Dan 2.33)
The feet must be part of the fourth empire and we note that they are struck by a 'stone':
"... a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them." (Dan 2.34)
This refers to the destruction of the final (fourth) empire at the Second Coming of Christ. The stone (Christ) crushes not only the final empire but also all trace of previous empires that dominated Israel, and the kingdom of Christ then 'fills the whole earth' (Dan 2.35). The important point is that Christ strikes the statue 'on its feet' - and those feet are part of the Roman Empire in the statue symbolism. The Roman Empire must therefore exist in some form at the end of the age such that it can be struck and destroyed! Many see this latter day empire as a 'revived Roman Empire'.
"The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth ... and (it) will devour the whole earth ..." (Dan 7.23)
The New Testament confirms this concept by referring to seven major Middle East empires or kingdoms (Rev 17.10). These can be identified as the Egyption, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires, with one to come. Taken with Dan 2 and Dan 7, this suggests that the one to come must be a revived form of the historic Roman Empire.
This concept is again endorsed by Rev 13.1, which speaks of an end-time 'ten horned beast rising up out of the sea' (the sea of humanity). This is the same ten horned beast that Daniel saw (Dan 7.7,20-24) and it has some of the characteristics of the preceding three historic empires (Rev 13.2). In this context, a 'horn' symbolises a king or national leader (Dan 7.24). So this final world empire will involve a relatively brief alliance of ten world leaders or governments (Rev 17.12,13) - symbolised by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's statue. In fact, Daniel sees an eleventh king (the 'little horn' of Dan 7.8) associated with this final kingdom (Dan 7.24,25). This despicable king is seen by many as an end-time 'world dictator'. The important point here is that the fourth and final empire in these prophecies refers both to historic Rome and to an end time world empire or world government. Nebuchadnezzar's symbolic statue and Daniel's vision extend to an end-time empire linked to historic Rome but which rules the world!
The prophet Daniel sees beyond the historic Roman Empire in both of his visions. He sees only four empires to rule over Israel before Christ comes again and the final form of the fourth is mysteriously linked to historic Rome whilst at the same time being universal (it is worth noting that the international think-tank on global affairs, the Club of Rome, originated in Rome). This final empire or world government is seen symbolically as the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's statue (Dan 2.33), the terrifying iron-toothed beast of Dan 7.7, the ten-horned beast of Rev 13.1-3, and the scarlet beast of Rev 17.3.
Prophetically, the world government is linked to previous world empires, and particularly to the Roman Empire:
The move to create a New World Order (NWO) probably started in America during the early 1900's. Significant milestones are:
For more details see New World Order (conspiracy)
There are many organisations working towards World Government: the UN, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the World Bank, the Illuminati, NATO and the WCC. Needless to say, this involves most of the well-known bankers, industrialists and politicians who meet annually in secret as part of the Bilderberg Group.
Control via National Debt
The economic crisis in southern Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus) has highlighted a very effective control mechanism: external control of a nation via its national debt. Today, private banks create most of our money (some 97% of it) as credit - personal and business loans, mortgages, overdrafts etc. On an international scale this fictious money is then lent to a nation, increasing its national (or government or public) debt. For example, at the end of 2012, the UK debt had increased to over £1,100 billion or some 71% of GDP. The interest on such loans can be large, forcing severe austerity measures. So the debt mechanism provides vast profits, power and control to bankers! The International Monetary Fund (IMF), a UN entity, has declared itself the global central bank that will set regulations and issue a global currency to the nations.
It seems a major component of world control is 'regionalisation'. At present there are three major economic areas in the world: Europe, North America and the 'Pacific Rim' nations (Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan etc.). An objective of the Trilateral Commission is to harmonize these three regions. In turn, each region is being harmonized by merging nations into a superstate (nation states would then simply be geographic references). Fiscal union within a region would seem essential. The ultimate plan is to form three 'Unions': the European Union (which is virtually complete, with nations like Britain already stripped of most of their powers), followed by the American Union (an economic union to include all the Western Hemisphere), followed by the Asian-Pacific Union.
In 2010, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin supports the long term goal of creating a European army, which will bolster the EU's role as a global player: "The long term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control".
The emerging EU army
Another regionalisation program has also been planned. According to the Club of Rome, the world should be divided into ten political-economic regions or kingdoms. Currently the UN has five Regional Economic Commissions, covering Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and Western Asia. It has ten Regional Groupings for development. The broad objective of this regionalisation program has been clearly stated:
"... the regional governance architecture is growing as an essential building block of effective global governance ..." [UN Regions]
First, let's take a global viewpoint. Afterall, the fourth and final beast will "devour the whole earth" (Dan 7.23). Here 'earth' has the same Hebrew root as Gen 1.1, implying the whole globe. According to the Bilderberg Group, world leadership will come from the UN. The regionalisation objectives, particularly the ten political-economic regions proposed by the Club of Rome would seem to give regional governments supporting the UN leadership. Such global control would be necessary for implimentation of the "mark of the beast" (Rev 13.16,17). These concepts align with prophecy: according to prophecy the fourth beast of Dan 7 will be led by a world dictator and an alliance of ten 'kings' or world leaders (Rev 17.12).
But there is an alternative viewpoint. Rather than be led by the UN with its HQ in Manhattan, New York, the prophetic emphasis seems to be upon the European region. The beast in Daniel and Revelation is strongly linked to historic Rome through Nebuchadnezzar's statue, suggesting that world leadership comes from the European region rather than from America. The controlling and godless characteristics of the European Union come to mind. Outwardly, the EU appears beneficial (avoiding war in Europe), but according to prophecy, the EU or some similar European system will eventually exercise the control, intolerance and brutality of ancient Rome. From it's center in Europe-Middle East, this beast will devour, trample and break the whole earth (Dan 7.23).
So, concentrating upon Europe rather than upon the world-wide Club of Rome model, can we at this time identify the ten kings or nations in this prophecy who will support the world dictator? Some take the historicist view of prophecy and identify ten historic European nations, three of which disappeared around 500 AD. Others take the futurist view of prophecy and identify ten nations from Europe and the Middle East, plus an eleventh nation (see Dan 7.20). They note that the ten kings arise from this kingdom (Dan 7.24), that is, from the fourth and final kingdom - the revived Roman Empire. In this context, the nations identified are: Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, plus Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran. Note that the first five nations correlate reasonably well with the western leg of the historic Roman Empire, whilst the last six correspond reasonably well with the eastern leg of Rome.
The prophecies outlined above clearly show that some system like the NWO will indeed emerge, and that it is likely to be led from Europe in the form of a revived Roman Empire. Prophecy also shows that it will be short-lived and will be destroyed at Christ's Second Coming. Other events that characterise the end of this age are the emergence of Israel, world-wide persecution of the true church, the emergence of an apostate church, forced electronic ID of individuals, and God's judgments upon the earth.
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You can escape God's judgments on the world by putting your trust in Jesus Christ.
Before we attempt to answer this question we might consider the terminology. The common view is that this dictator is 'The Antichrist' since he will focus all of his powers against Christ and His followers. He is taken to be a false Christ or false Messiah in the sense that a) he stages a false resurrection (Rev 13.14), b) he accepts worship (Rev 13.15), c) he wears a crown and conquers all his enemies (Rev 6.2), and d) he even rides a white horse (Rev 6.2) just as Christ does at His Second Coming (Rev 19.11).
An alternative view is as follows. The term 'Antichrist' is not found in the prophetic book of Revelation and only appears in 1 Jn and 2 Jn. Rather than use the term 'Antichrist', Rev 13 refers to two beasts, one from the sea and one from the earth. The former is commonly referred to as The Antichrist, but consider the following parallels:
From these parallels we might identify the beast from the earth as The Antichrist i.e. anti-Christ, and the beast from the sea as a false god i.e. anti-God, noting that the latter is against God (Rev 13.6) and sets himself up as God (2 Thes 2.4)(Dan 11.36). Satan completes the unholy trinity as the enabling power, mimicking the Holy Spirit. With this view, the world dictator aligns better with anti-God than with anti-Christ, and the 'ecclesiastical' beast of Rev 13.11 aligns well with the Papacy and the apostate church. Certainly, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, Bunyan, Huss, Knox, Edwards and Wesley associated the Papacy with the Antichrist and this teaching gave rise to the Protestant Reformation.
So who is the World Dictator? The emergence of a Satanically driven individual who will head the world government is stated in Dan 7.8,11,24-26, Dan 9.26,27, Dan 12.11, Mat 24.15, 2 Thes 2.3-9, Rev 13.1-8, and Rev 19.19. Can we identify him today? Probably not. According to the popular Pretribulation View of prophecy, this lawless individual will not be revealed until the true church is removed from the earth (2 Thes 2.7,8). But there are several clues as to his origin.
In 70 AD the Roman's destroyed Jerusalem according to the prophecy:
... and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary ... and he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week ...(Dan 9.26,27)
'The people' were Romans under Titus, and 'the prince who is to come' (and the 'he' of v27) is the world dictator, assuming the futurist interpretation of prophecy. Jesus appears to refer directly to the despicable person in Dan 9.27 when He quotes the 'abomination of desolation' in Mat 24.15. He implies that the future dictator (the 'abominator') will be closely linked to the historic Roman Empire. This view is compatible with the concept of a Revived Roman Empire discussed previously. Such an empire is denoted by Daniel's fourth and final beast:
"The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth ... out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them ... and he will speak out against the Most High ..." (Dan 7.23-25)
The 'another' is none other than the end time dictator, the 'little horn' of Dan 7.8! This person arises 'out of this kingdom' - the Roman Empire. This common prophetic interpretation suggests that the world dictator arises from within a Revived Roman Empire and so could possibly arise from Europe or the Middle East.
Another clue about this despicable individual relates to what he does. As mentioned, Jesus spoke of a future 'abomination of desolation' in the Jewish temple (Mat 24.15). He was referring directly to Dan 9.27 and a future 'abomination' in the sight of the Jewish nation. The interesting fact is that this future event has already been precisely paralleled in history! Referring to Alexander, the ruler of the Greek Empire, we read:
"... but as soon as he was mighty, the large horn (Alexander) was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns (his four generals) ... out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great ..." (Dan 8.8,9)
After some in-fighting, the four generals of historic interest were Ptolemy (who ruled Egypt), Cassander (who ruled Macedonia and Greece), Lysimachus (who ruled Thrace and Bythinia) and Seleucus Nicator (who ruled Syria and Babylonia). At its height, the Seleucid Empire stretched from Thrace (SE Europe) to the border of India, and it was a major center of Hellenistic (Greek) culture. It included a line of kings with the name Antiochus.
The significant point here is that Antiochus IV (reigned 175 BC - 164 BC) was the 'small horn' in Dan 8.9. Moreover, this despicable individual is widely accepted as being the archetype of the end time world dictator. Such a biblical stance is justified when we compare the infamous activities of Antiohus IV with prophecy concerning the future dictator - there is an intriguing correlation! See Archetype of the Beast.
So if Antiochus IV was the archetype of the end time world dictator, does his lineage and region of rule give further clues about the world dictator? Maybe. We note that Antiochus ruled the Seleucid Empire and so he was of Greek origin. In fact, he pursued a zealous Hellenizing policy when he attacked the Jews. We also note that he ruled Syria and Babylonia, and that both Syria and part of Babylonia were part of the historic Eastern Roman Empire. So is the end time world dictator of Greek lineage? Certainly Greece is specifically identified in the OT as opposing Israel; the prince of Greece (Dan 10.20) is a demonic principality over Greece, and the sons of Greece oppose the sons of Zion just prior to the LORD's Second Coming (Zech 9.13).
Since the Seleucid Empire spanned Babylonia at the time of Antiochus IV, we should also note the spiritual significance of this area. Babylonia was annexed by the Roman Empire as Mesopotamia and corresponds to modern day Iraq. It embraced ancient Babylon and was the zenith of civilization under Nimrod. Nimrod conquered the then known world, enticed people to worship him, and rebelled against God (the name Nimrod has the word 'rebel' as its root). He is traditionally considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel in rebellion against God (Gen 11.1-9). It is interesting that the EU has deliberately copied the tower of Babel in the EU Parliament building, Strasbourg. So the world dictator could emerge from ancient Babylonia - modern Iraq.
The line of kings of the Seleucid Empire had the role of 'king of the north' in prophecy (Dan 11). This applied to Antiochus IV, who ruled Syria and Babylonia. It is interesting to note that the same phrase 'king of the north' is found in Dan 11.36-45, which applies to the end time dictator, implying that the latter emerges from the Syria-Iraq region.
Lastly, although the world dictator may have Hellenistic leanings, there is another possibility. His background will initially make him acceptable to the returned Jews in Israel since they sign a 7-year treaty with him (Dan 9.27). So he could well be an apostate Jew. A curious phrase is used in Dan 11.37: speaking of the end-time world dictator, it says, 'He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers ...'. Prior to the days of Moses, the Hebrews knew God generally as 'the God of the Fathers', and so Dan 11.37 again suggests he is a Jew.
Based upon the archetype Antiochus IV, we might tentatively conclude that the end time world dictator:
For more discussion see Daniel's 70th Week. Whoever he is, he will be destroyed at Christ's Second Coming (2 Thes 2.8)!