Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (October 2013)
It is often alleged that the humanistic agenda of globalism is paving the way towards a new world order under the personal leadership of the Antichrist. The Bible confirms this scenario and gives a number of prophetic warnings against an end-time movement of this nature. However, the Bible also promises a Christian new world order under the leadership of Christ during the Millennium. Discernment is needed to be able to distinguish between the two kingdoms. In this article we will concisely review the ideology of humanistic globalism and indicate how it is skilfully used to promote a mindset which is conducive to the acceptance of the false christ.
The politically, culturally and spiritually divided nations of the world are moving closer together and are gradually merging into an international community which is bonded together by an expanding range of common interests. Multinational actions are needed to address threats such as the international war against terrorism, the endangering of world peace by excessive military build-up, the manufacture and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction, crimes against humanity perpetrated by fanatical dictators, religious animosity and the waging of “holy wars”, unchecked overspending and corruption leading to national bankruptcy and threatening economic implosions in both rich and poor countries, widespread suffering due to overpopulation, unemployment and poverty, gross disrespect for basic human rights, the devastating pollution and destruction of natural resources, global warming, the rapid spread of contaminating diseases across the world, the need for coordinated, multinational relief operations in cases of severe natural disasters, etc.
Concurrent with the rising tide of global threats there is also an awakening of a global consciousness. A new world order is not only pursued by the nations with a view to joining forces to solve global problems, but also to underpin efforts to unite and empower themselves to become the masters of their own destiny. The most pronounced feature of the emerging new world order is the ideology of globalism, which makes its influence felt in all spheres of life. During the final stage of the transformation from nationalism to globalism, the nations will express their unity and common destiny by accepting global leadership in the form of a world government with executive powers. International experts will be commissioned to find solutions and assist in determining policies that will promote the best interests of all societies on the globe.
The practical implementation of the global humanist agenda will be achieved by using advanced computer networks and other sophisticated technological systems. The harnessing of modern technology, as well as the high degree of control which it affords, opens the way to establish a revolutionary new system of global governance which is popularly described as a “technocracy”.
The proper functioning of such a system is dependant on a common set of humanist principles and rules, as well as multiple databases which have been scientifically compiled to ensure the best possible quality of life for all. In this way, expertise in every sphere of life will be built into an electronic brain, thereby creating a “global mind” with the ability to impose the best available scientific solutions to any problematic situation, and even to make moral rulings based on certain values. The computerised global mind with its hidden electronic eyes will operate together with its human master [the Antichrist], and they will jointly represent the supreme global authority.
A mindset of globalism has to reach an advanced stage before a comprehensive technocracy will be able to emerge from it. The international community should first agree on generally acceptable rules for human rights, the ethics of an equitable economic system for the globe, a multireligious organisation in which the participants are non-hostile partners in an alliance of religions, as well as the moral right of military intervention by a world body to ensure that all nations and individuals comply with the principles and dictates of the new world order.
The computerised global mind of the international community will represent the supreme authority on earth, which means that united humanity will be their own god. They will say: “We are one ... we are God.” This will be an expression of the ultimate lie which the devil has imposed upon a spiritually lost and morally depraved humanity. No recognition whatsoever will be given to a transcendental God in the heaven above – neither to His Son as the only Saviour and King of the world, nor to His Word with its spiritual and moral guidelines, its denouncing of sin, and its warning against divine judgements upon unrepentant sinners.
Once the nations have united themselves, usurped all power on earth, and reduced religion to a handy political tool to unite and deify people, they will rise against God and utterly reject His supremacy (Ps. 2). By then, the infrastructure for Satan’s alternative government will have been established and it will be opportune for his false christ to be revealed. The following are the six different forms of globalism which will be the building blocks of this evil kingdom:
Planetary citizens of the end-time will be united behind a single person (the biblical “beast”) who will be the epitome of their holistic dream of global unity. John says: “And all the world marvelled and followed the beast” (Rev. 13:3). The Amplified Bible says: “... and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration.” This highly successful person will, in a most remarkable way, gain the support of all nations and “confirm a covenant with many” (Dan. 9:27). In his diplomatic campaign for peace and unity he will achieve what no other diplomat or leader before him has accomplished, hence the utter amazement among his worldwide following.
Global unity will soon become manifest after he has been accepted as undisputed world leader. National boundaries will either be removed or significantly scaled down, thereby abolishing national sovereignty and rendering the different countries no more than regions within a global state: “For he says: By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations” (Isa. 10:13 NIV).
According to Revelation 17:12-14, the beast and his co-rulers will all be of one mind and make war with Christ and those who believe in Him. The followers of the beast will wholeheartedly share his anti-God ideology of self-deification. Their new-found unity as planetary citizens will induce them to declare themselves as their own God and sole masters of the universe. They will not recognise or respect any authority outside that of the global government and its leader.
In a joint declaration they will reject God’s authority and moral laws, and encourage all people to live as they please: “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” (Ps. 2:2-3). Under the leadership of the devil’s counterfeit christ, fallen humanity will boldly state: “We are one ... we are God!” No rules will apply, other than those which are laid down by “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3). An international culture of sin will guide human behaviour and impose no restrictions. Spiritually and morally, people will apostatise to a level which is reminiscent of the days before the Flood: “... the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
This will be the tragic and self-destructive end of fully-fledged humanism – a futile effort by man to become his own God, while in the process wilfully rejecting the only source of true life, orderly existence and constructive engagement in the affairs of fellow-humans. That will render people victims of the kingdom of darkness, where suffering, false peace, power abuse, lies and all sorts of evil works predominate.
The majority of fallen mankind has never accepted the supremacy of a transcendent God. Preference was mostly given to manmade religions in which human cult leaders are deified as divine masters of wisdom, while people also prefer to bow down before images made by themselves. Even the majority of Jews to whom the true Creator God was revealed, will ultimately follow a messiah of human origin. This world leader, referred to as the Antichrist or the beast in the Bible, will openly glory in himself and refuse to recognise the authority of any god in heaven or on earth. The true Christ warned Israel against the false christ of the end-time, who will exalt himself: “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43).
The wide array of religions invented by deceived humanity have always been incompatible with one another and therefore highly divisive. Even within the same religion, different factions are often engaged in a violent and bloody struggle. However, the ideology of globalism is rapidly transforming these antagonistic religions into a seemingly harmonious alliance of world religions, based on the premise that they complement one another and are all jointly preparing the way for the coming world messiah.
The global alliance of religions will finally be unified when the false messiah appears and associates with all of them. They will follow him in amazement and also worship him (Rev. 13:3-4). This will be a universal reaction: “And all who dwell on the earth will worship him” (Rev. 13:8). There are already a growing number of interfaith movements in which members of different religions deliberate with one another with a view to promoting world peace through a greater degree of unity based on the ideal of a mutual mystical brotherhood.
After having been well established as world messiah the Antichrist will make the next move in his contemplated deification by declaring himself to be God. Daniel says he will magnify himself above every god – also the God of heaven – by disregarding all of them (Dan. 11:37). Paul describes him as the great adversary of God who “exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4). This extreme act of rebellion will clearly occur within the global context of the end-time’s humanistic religious system, and will be the final step of affirming man’s status and authority on the highest level.
An important fact about the self-deification of the Antichrist is that modern technology will be used to enforce it. The false prophet will deceive the nations, “telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the beast. ... He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Rev. 13:14-15). It is obvious that a form of electronic life will be given to the image, which will make it possible for the image to be linked to a worldwide computer network and surveillance system which can identify people and monitor their reactions.
A core objective of the ideology of globalism is that centralised control should be exercised over the world economy, thereby ensuring the equitable distribution of wealth as well as free access to resources by all people. Managing a vast range of resources, including financial resources, calls for expert knowledge in the relevant fields. All the expertise and knowledge needed for the smooth running of the world economy will be entered into the computerised global brain which will play an important part in the government of the beast. This technological management system will drive a cashless monetary system of electronic funds transfer, and will have the ability of global control by authorising and monitoring all transactions:
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev. 13:16-18). The same computer system will control and monitor economic as well as religious and various other activities to ensure that they all comply with the Antichrist’s policy of globalism.
As the supreme leader of a global government, the Antichrist will rule in six different capacities at the same time – he will be the chief ideologist, messiah and self-declared God, controller of the world economy, political ruler of the world, chief judge, and commander of the global military force. It will therefore be impossible to only enter into political or economic allegiance with him without fully recognising him in all his other capacities, and worshiping him. Accepting his number will be an overt act of condoning all his activities, and specifically also his rebellion against God. Those who do that will subject themselves to the judgements of God:
“If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9-11).
The end-time reign of the Antichrist will be the seventh and final political manifestation of satanic globalism since the ancient Babylonian Empire of Nimrod. The first six of these empires were all characterised by a close integration of political and religious globalism – to the extent that many of the emperors deified themselves and demanded religious worship together with political allegiance, while the others often enforced the idolatrous religion of their empires upon all their subjects. It will be no different during the coming world empire of the Antichrist.
Revelation 17 describes the symbiotic relationship between a satanic world leader and an apostate religious system, i.e. between the beast and the harlot (an idolatrous woman). This scenario has a much wider application than the Roman Empire, hence the identity of the harlot as “Mystery Babylon” which refers back to the early postdiluvian days when the first global empire was established and the tower of Babel erected. The angel said to John: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication” (Rev. 17:1-2).
In the subsequent verses it is indicated that the woman sits on seven mountains which represent seven successive kings or empires throughout the history of the nations: “Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time” (Rev. 17:10). Five of these empires had fallen before the time of John, i.e. the Babylonian Empire of Nimrod, the Assyrian Empire, the restored Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Greek Empire. The sixth one, the Roman Empire, was in power while the seventh and last one, that of the Antichrist, was still future.
This inclusive review of all world empires is again confirmed at the end of this chapter: “And the woman whom you saw is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 17:18). She is the personification of a mystical (spiritual) kingdom headed by Satan who is the god of this evil world (2 Cor. 4:4). Frequent references are made to this evil mystical kingdom in the New Testament, e.g. in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age.” The Lord Jesus also referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30).
Satan is “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), but he was always intent on physically manifesting his kingdom under the authority of an evil king. The Bible describes the end-time ruler in Satan’s kingdom as the beast and states: “And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). This global empire will be bigger and stronger than all its predecessors as it will reign over all people on earth, which includes vast regions that were unknown in ancient times: “And he was given authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 13:7). He will have the power and authority to depose kings and rulers who refuse to relinquish their sovereignty: “By the strength of my hand I have done this, ... I removed the boundaries of the nations, ... like a mighty one I subdued their kings” (Isa. 10:13 NIV).
Towards the middle of the tribulation period the beast will become an even greater despot, but his co-rulers will be so mesmerised by his power and achievements that they will voluntarily hand over their power to the beast, who will reduce them to mere puppets in his global empire: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).
The Antichrist will make every effort to maximise his influence and legitimise his radical actions. He will see to it that the encoding of his extreme humanist manifesto is supported by all the political and judicial authorities in the world. Evil judges will be appointed to draft and enforce the constitution of his global government. Consequently, all disputed policies and other matters will be referred to global courts for a verdict. It is obvious that the corrupt judges of the end-time will only voice the wishes of their master. One of his explicit wishes will be the eradication of the Christian faith, as well as all uncompromising religious beliefs, and severe punishments will be imposed upon those who do not comply with his rules.
One of the constitutional pillars of this global empire will be the forced worship of the emperor, as well as the explicit rejection of God’s ruling that His Anointed is the only legitimate King of the world. This is the reason why God will also judge the corrupt and deceived judges: “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Ps. 2:10-12).
The wrath of God will be poured out upon the evil kingdom of the beast, including all those who collaborated with him to uproot evangelical Christianity by rejecting the only true Saviour and King of the world, and also for persecuting those who believe in Him.
The global government of the Antichrist will have a strong military force at its disposal that will not only serve as a peace-keeping force to stamp out rebellion against his regime, but also to fight wars of conquest against kings who might dare to challenge his policy to abolish national sovereignty. He will be a much feared militarist – even more so than historical dictators such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, and Nero, who were notorious for crushing their foes and instituting a reign of terror. The Antichrist’s followers will say: “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Rev. 13:4). Daniel says that this end-time king of the world “shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many” (Dan. 11:44).
It is evident that many of the wars will be fought against religious dissidents who will refuse to worship the beast as messiah and ultimately also as God. Many of these adversaries will be Christians who will be killed on the spot or executed in public places by beheading. In his vision on the end-time, John heard the loud cries of the martyrs who pleaded with God to intervene and judge the beast for slaying those who believe in His Son:
“When He [the Lamb] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Rev. 6:9-11).
Christians will be persecuted as never before in history. The same fate will befall religious Jews who will revoke their covenant with the false messiah after his blasphemous self-deification in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. Christians and Jews will both proclaim that the true Messiah will shortly come to judge His enemies and then establish His reign of peace on earth. This will greatly infuriate the beast and he will start mobilising a huge multinational force in the Middle East to fight against Christ and His heavenly army. Evil spirits will be sent out to instigate the rulers of the world towards participating in the biggest “religious war” ever fought on earth.
John says: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Rev. 16:13-16).
The greatest of all wars in the entire history of humanity will be fought in and around Israel when the true Messiah comes. The beast and his cohorts will arrogantly think that they can fight against Him who has all power in heaven and on earth. The angelic messenger said to John: “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is the Lord of lords and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14). The scene of this coming world war will soon become the graveyard of God’s enemies:
“And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:19-21; cf. Zech. 14:12-13).
After judging and obliterating His enemies, and also binding Satan in a pit, Christ will restore the throne of David in Jerusalem and set up His millennial kingdom on earth. Globalism will then be founded upon the truth, righteousness and mercy of God’s kingdom. The Lord says: “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice” (Isa. 32:1). In the Millennium, the Messiah will reign in righteousness (cf. Isa. 11:1-5), and rulers under Him will be just. The bride of Christ will rule with Him (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:9-10). The martyrs of the tribulation period will be resurrected and also share in this government:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ... Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4, 6).
In the spiritual realm, there are only two kingdoms – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Both are preparing to physically manifest themselves on earth – the one under Satan’s counterfeit Messiah-King and the other under God’s true Messiah-King. Satan is trying to pre-empt the revelation of God’s kingdom by first sending and empowering the beast who will appear as an “angel of light” to deceive humanity into joining the wrong kingdom (cf. 2 Cor. 11:14-15).
Christians have been warned against the great end-time deception and apostasy which will pave the way towards the Antichrist’s global kingdom. The persecution of Christians under his reign will be so severe that the evangelical church of Christ will not be able to survive as an institution under his rule. John says: “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and overcome them” (Rev. 13:7). Despite severe persecution during the church age, a situation like the one under the Antichrist’s dictatorship cannot occur before his end-time rise to power. The Lord Jesus said: “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). However, this guarantee is not given with regard to the tribulation period. During that time, individual persons who turn to Christ will indeed be saved, but they will die as martyrs (Rev. 12:11).
A very clear dispensational line will be crossed between the church age and the reign of the Antichrist. In fact, the Antichrist cannot even be revealed and start with his unmitigated destructive works while the church of Christ is still here: “And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:6-9).
The restrainer is the true church of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The end of the church age will occur at the rapture, when Christ will catch them away from planet earth: “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” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
Only after the one who withholds has been taken out of the way, the Antichrist will be able to be revealed and perpetrate his spiritual deception to greater extremes, while he will also have the political and military power to exterminate his adversaries. However, Christians who are ready and worthy will escape this time of unprecedented judgements (Luke 21:36). Those who are only saved during the tribulation period will be faced with bloody persecution.