The twentieth century dawned with bright promise of a new era of technological advance. It's night has fallen on a century of unparalleled bloodshed and human indignity. What next?
This century has seen human destructiveness plunge to unimagined depths of depravity. Multiple millions have paid the ultimate price for the grandiose expansionist designs of a succession of self-seeking leaders. Technology has enhanced our lives - but has given us Hiroshima, chemical and biological weapons, smart bombs, new diseases, big brother surveillance.
The world's problems are horrendous. Global warming, uncontrolled disease, bloody civil wars, pollution, burgeoning population, terrorism - just for starters. As technology devised ever faster communication the world shrank into a global village. Your problems become my problems. As foreseen by the fifth Century BC prophet, Daniel: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4). Global solutions are now seen as our only hope.
Since the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) abortive attempts at harmonizing national interests litter man's history. In our time came the failed post-World War I League of Nations. For half a century the United Nations has weakly sought to encourage peace among nations. It has with varied success spawned a host of inter-governmental agencies. Yet the world's problems continue unabated.
For centuries, powerful men have worked to gain control of the levers of world power. Openly - and too often behind closed doors - they have sought to amass wealth, to manipulate governments, to influence our world using every conceivable political, economic and religious device.
Taking the charitable view (though some see conspiracy), these movers and shakers perceive that global problems demand global solutions.
The promotion of 11 one world" with its attendant international institutions is seen as the way to peace and harmony - and perhaps profit for the few. Pollution doesn't respect national boundaries. Civil war and revolution spills worldwide from obscure comers of the planet. Financial collapse in one sector of the global economy impacts all money markets - and your life and mine. In such a world, only a supreme world government can bridge national self-interest.
Game of Nations
The obstacles to a peaceful world are mountainous. Nations just now emerging from primitive economies, in practice reject international agreements on pollution. The "West" has for centuries polluted its way to supremacy. Now it's our turn, they say.
Powerful nations are in the grip of country-sized business interests and their governments pander to multinational corporate greed - invading "trouble-spots" on the pretence ("ethical foreign policy") of bringing peace, while in fact smoothing the path (as in Kosovo) to business and often territorial expansion.
Religion - Part Of The Problem
In the background is religion, a further obstacle to a world at peace. Each faith fuels a world view that is often in conflict. Again, history is littered with the wars of religion. The Emperor Constantine [313 A.D.] launched secular Christianity on a path of world conquest in the fourth century. Three hundred years later Islam grasped the sword to gain world dominion. Then came the successive anti-Muslim Christian Crusades. Today, China vigorously and bloodily suppresses Christian 11 cells", seen as a threat to the state. A surge in Islamic terrorism - attempts to establish local Islamic supremacy - is viewed with alarm by governments worldwide. It has cost thousands of lives - as currently in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The "European idea" is merely the twentieth-century version of the Emperor Constantine's Christian (Catholic) world. It dominated Europe by force of arms and by pogroms throughout the dark years of the Middle Ages.
The twisted cord that unites all these obstacles to the forming of a harmonious world is human nature fuelled by the "great conspirator" -man's adversary, Satan the Deceiver and Accuser ("Devil").
Man's faulty God-rejecting reasoning has constructed a world that now teeters on the brink of annihilation, a world that will survive only under a strong hand.
But a strong human hand is motivated in the long run by personal vanity and naked ambition, and exercises authority in a despotic manner - a trait highlighted by Jesus (Matthew 20:25). Such exercise of power is needed, though, because we humans naturally resist control! Give us "bread and circus". dole and football, and we will go along with the government. Try, however, to enforce unreasonable policies and we resist. Hence the despot must use overkill!
Satan - the unseen hand behind the throne - has ever seen himself in the role of a divine world-emperor and has engineered civilization to that end. Fallen from the presence of God through pride and ambition (he coveted the role of divinity - Isaiah 14:12-14) he has from the beginning influenced man and all human institutions - education, social structures, politics and especially religion.
Mankind has been drawn into Satan's plan for one world, a world that will worship and serve him exclusively. Six thousand years of civilization have culminated in the near success of those plans. The end-time of human rule [see Time of the Signs] will see him reap his dream in a final orgy of unparalleled destruction of all those who resist his will.
The apostle John was given a preview of the days immediately before the return of Jesus the Messiah as King of all earthly kings. His first-century mind was assaulted by visions of horrific modern weaponry. His visions are recorded in the book of Revelation..
Here's how Christ revealed to John the end-time role of Satan. In vision John saw a grotesque mythical animal (KJV-"beast") rise out of the sea. He continues:
The dragon [i.e., Satan - Rev. 12:9] gave him his power, his throne and great authority.... and all the world marvelled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? 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 ban over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him - those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life. Revelation 13:3-8
We are on the brink of a new millennium. And we are on the brink of a world economy, a world government and a world religion. For a short time Satan inhabiting the form of a religio-political world tyrannical despot will reign supreme. Those few long years will demonstrate the destructive fruits of his age-old ungodly philosophy of greed and ambition. Our world will self-destruct and only the intervention of Almighty God in the person of His Messiah, Jesus, will restore true peace and prosperity founded on the divine laws.
That's where lies our only hope.
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 4 Issue 2, November/December 1999. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
Go to Literature Index Page
This URL is abcog.org/nh/mayhem.htm