We live in an unprecedented age. What we may think to be norms for the world are surely not. Seen from the perspective of the human timeline on earth, what is being witnessed currently is a period of terminal acceleration applying to a very small sliver of time. This is playing out through many trends and developments.
A sudden burst in world population growth, the industrial revolution, the Age of Oil, and the surges stemming from the eruption of the Age of Global Capital are just some of the major manifestations. All have contributed to a virtual maelstrom of change and so-called technological “progress” of mankind. Unfortunately, it has also fed the flames of the humanist ego.
Is “acceleration” then the main characteristic that defines the unprecedentedness of our world today? It is surely a defining one, but is definitely not the most significant nor pivotal sign. The most crucial aspect of all these trends and shifts is the underlying change in beliefs, values and the worldview of mankind. This is the true “ground zero” that gives rise to mankind’s voluntary fulfillment of last-days Bible prophecy. These shifts all involve “beliefs” and “faith,” and therefore really fall under the definition of religion. In this sense, global mankind—the world—has experienced a massive conversion of religion (belief and faith) in this last-day period like no other in human history. In the process, it has adopted a colossal load of faulty and potentially deadly dogma.
Indeed, it is this change in human “beliefs” that is the common thread that defines our selection of the 12 “endtime fuses” of this series.
A Strange World of Global Gods
Were a king or ruler of a large nation of twenty-five hundred years ago to come back to life and visit our modern world, he would surely be completely bewildered. Seeing the world today, our ancient king would be amazed that the entire world is so geographically expansive, and moreover, comprised of so many cooperating nations.
For example, he would likely not have known about the existence of the continents of North and South America. But most of all, our ancient king would be astounded that there could be some 240 nations and territories around the entire world that have all surrendered their individual gods and aspects of their sovereignty to the common god of modernity and globalism.
Globalism is a concept that had not yet been invented in their day. In fact, the term “globalism” is relatively new even today. It was a word coined only as recent as the 1940s.
In earlier times, the mightiness of a nation was seen to be a direct reflection of the power of their god(s). Geopolitics then was a competition of the pagan gods. There are a number of accounts in the Old Testament that reflect this perspective. For example, when Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was besieging Jerusalem, he was expressly attacking Israel’s God in the view that his god was more powerful.
He said to King Hezekiah, “Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?” (Isaiah 37:12-13).
Also, we see that David was indignant about the taunts from Goliath for the very reason that he “[…] defied the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:36). Goliath had literally said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel!” (verse 10). The name Israel, after all, is commonly believed to mean “prevailing with God.” In response, David confirmed that it was the God of Israel that was going to bring about the defeat of both Goliath and the Philistines, saying, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (verse 46).
To lose a battle was an embarrassment for the Hebrews, because the Living God was seen by the pagan nations to be weaker than their gods. Joshua, after the defeat by the people of Ai, lamented, “The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this […] What then will you do for your own great name?” (Joshua 7:9).
Today, few nations would take the view that their “gods” are being repudiated, were they to lose their sovereignty. This perception may still apply to Muslim nations, which would directly equate the supremacy of Allah as being confirmed through the conversion of the entire world of “infidels” to Islam. For the most part, nations today have given up their identities with their past gods and have traded them in for the new gods of globalism (including globalization), science and monetarism. We have always seen the three false gods mentioned in Daniel 11:36-39 as representing these main materialistic beliefs of the last-day world.
The rulership of these last days, represented by the Antichrist, shows “no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.” The three gods that will be honored during that time would be the “god of fortresses,” the “unknown god” and a “foreign god.” Who are these gods? It makes for an interesting study (one that was published here more than a decade ago). It is the “foreign god” mentioned in Daniel 11:39 that we think represents the rise of globalism and its parallel dissolution of the sovereign powers of individual nations. In our view (this being an opinion, not fact), this aspect of globalism is represented by the statement, “He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god” (verse 39).
The Strange Power of Globalism
The Bible gives clear evidence that not only would the world globalize, but also that this worldwide power arrangement was considered a strange concept in earlier times. For example, Daniel presents this perspective. When he provided the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, he spoke of a future kingdom that would be comprised of “mixed peoples,” some of them strong, some weak. He said to the King of Babylon, “[…] this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle” (Daniel 2:41-42).
Just what kind of power could be based on a structure where “people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (Daniel 2:43)? To the mind of Nebuchadnezzar’s day, this would have been considered a strange and confusing kingdom. In his era, peoples and nations were mostly single races (for example, as we would still consider Japan today). Power alliances were not uncommon, but certainly not with nations that were considered “weak” or “brittle.” Multiculturalism did not really exist then either.
It is only in this last century or so that the world has adopted globalism. Nations may or may not participate at times, though it has become increasingly onerous to be a non-aligned state existing outside of this global arrangement. Even though there are many issues and vested interests that will divide nations, a global rulership of “globalism” is nevertheless still intermediated through various transnational organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), NATO, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and others. Other economics-oriented transnational organizations such as the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others seek to maintain coordinated “global rulership” in complementary realms.
It indeed is a bewildering and strange power structure. Power is vague … yet very powerful. Globalism’s source of power cannot be easily identified, yet it is more powerful than any single imperial power ever before.
Global power has many forms. We can categorize them into two broad types—Hard Power and Soft Power. Soft Power includes various forms of world influence. Here can be numbered memberships on world transnational organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or NATO (and a host of many others), or influence upon world culture. Hard Power, by comparison, is more direct and can include such factors as military might, the size of world trade in goods and services, a country’s relative population size, and so on.
The Bible clearly does prophesy that globalism will take place in the last days. God pronounces his last-day judgments upon all the nations collectively, as they are all engaged in rebelliousness; together, they are pursuing similar ideologies, and together rise up against Israel. All the nations of the world are shown unified in these ways. The Lord God says to them collectively, “Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter” (Isaiah 34:1-2).
From Bible prophecy, we can also deduce that the world would have forums such as the United Nations and means of rapid communication (seen today in the form of global media networks and telecommunications systems) that would facilitate a world opinion and consensus. Such things as the “global consensus” of key countries represent “power” in the world. Indeed, the world itself has become a political podium, the actions of most individual nations postured for a global audience. Yes, the “global village” is getting smaller by virtue of becoming more connected financially and economically (this being globalization, which we will discuss in Part IV).
When Balaam prophesied, “For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9, KJV), this presumed that the world—“the nations” collectively—was united in not “reckoning” Israel. That requires globalism during this time. Without a doubt, that state of affairs exists today.
Points to Ponder
Satan and his hierarchy of fallen angels have been busy transforming the minds—the new and unified global beliefs—of mankind to accept humanism and globalism as the new hope. The times today are similar to Babel. The world’s late state of globalism mirrors the sentiment of those ancient times when “[…] they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth’” (Genesis 11:4). Humanistic globalism is counter to the will of God, as evidenced by His supernatural intervention at Babel, causing people to disperse and confounding their “heavenward” efforts with different languages.
While globalism occurs and persists into the Tribulation period, the world in fact does move to a post-globalism state … a second phase of globalism. We rely on Biblical proof for this statement. The “global parliament of man,” as Alfred Tennyson called it,1 will not rule the world in the end. Broad globalism is not the last state. There are yet two regimes that come thereafter—first minilateralism, and then autocracy. The former is represented by the 10 kings that will rule for a short time, and the latter is the form of global government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler (Antichrist).
However, before a 10-nation coalition can rule the world, it will require that the distribution of power in the world become more level between leading nations than it is at the present time. Whatever the make-up of this allied group of 10 nations that will assume world power, it must collectively be able to overcome any superpower. Otherwise, it could not exist uncontested. This development is called “multipolarism” and is already well underway. We can only speculate as to what will be the implications for the future of America.
Even the National Intelligence Council (this being an American institution) has a similar opinion. We quote from its recent report, Global Trends: “The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today. By 2030, no country—whether the US, China, or any other large country—will be a hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750 […].”2
Indeed, we can conclude that the advent of globalism and its prophesied shifts, yet to occur in the future will involve much geopolitical volatility. It indeed represents one of the “burning fuses” of the end times, holding the potential for explosive impact.
1 Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall, 1846
2 “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” National Intelligence Council (http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-global-trends) Accessed February 4, 2013