The most outstanding and ominous signof the end of the world as we know it, and which the Bible devotes some key chapters to, will be the rise of a world government headed by a Devil-possessed tyrant known as the Antichrist or “the Beast” who is given authority “over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). Is the world heading toward a global government as this verse seems to imply?
The European Union now encompasses 27 nations, with more knocking on the door to be admitted. There is a European Parliament; the European Commission; a common currency, the euro, that a number of European nations have already adopted; and if the EU reform treaty is ratified, there will be a “President of Europe.”
The African Union, which includes 53 African nations, was formed in 2001 and aims eventually to have a single currency, an integrated defense force, as well as other institutions of state, including a Cabinet for the AU Head of State.
In 2004, the nations of South America signed the Cuzco Declaration announcing the foundation of the South American Community, modeled after the European Union, including a common currency, parliament, and passport. The Asian Cooperation Dialogue—which includes 30 Asian countries, including the megastates of Russia, China, and India—declares that its aim is to ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community.
The United Nations is a global organization with 192 member states and is the hub for many organizations that affect and in some cases regulate our lives, such as the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Commission, the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, the International Court of Justice (the World Court), the International Criminal Court, and the World Bank.
Globalization of the economy is a reality. Numerous trade bodies and treaties are already in place, such as the World Trade Organization, ASEAN, NAFTA, and Mercosur. The idea of global governance where international agreements and protocols will govern international behavior is being championed by high-profile political commentators. When you start looking into it, there are many international and supranational bodies, treaties, and protocols that have at their core the idea of promoting regional, and eventually, global cooperation and integration.
The Jerusalem Peace Accord
It appears that the Antichrist will rise to power on a political platform of peace, security, and economic stability. Like Satan himself, who can appear as an angel of light, this man will deceive most of the world into thinking that he is a great man of peace, a hero.
The prophet Daniel wrote that “he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue” (Daniel 11:21). He confirms with many an international protocol that Daniel called the “Holy Covenant” (Daniel 9:27; 11:22–32).
Whether this world government the Antichrist heads is already in power or rises to power at the time this document is signed, we don’t yet know. What the scriptures do state, though, is that this covenant will have a planned duration of seven years and will be pivotal to his claim to world leadership. This pact will resolve the Middle East crisis (at least temporarily), a seemingly impossible task that has repeatedly eluded the best efforts by world leaders since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It seems the compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians will include the central issue of Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, which is sacred to Jews (their Temple stood there before being destroyed by the Romans in ad 70) and to Muslims (the Dome of the Rock, part of Al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif complex, the third most revered holy place in Islam, stands there today). Scripture indicates that the Antichrist’s covenant will enable the Jews to rebuild their national temple, where they will revive their ancient rituals of animal sacrifice (Daniel 8:23–25; 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4), suspended when the Temple was destroyed. “Jewish eschatology envisions the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem prior to the coming of the Messiah, and thus, adherents of Orthodox and Conservative Judaism anticipate a Third Temple.”93
Much of the religious paraphernalia and building material for this temple have already been fabricated and stored, and the priests and temple attendants are already trained.94
The biblical prophet Ezekiel (circa 623–571 bc) calls the Antichrist “Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2). Scholars agree that the ancient land referred to as Magog would appear to be a powerful country or region of peoples to the north of Israel. Although there was no such land called Russia in Ezekiel’s day, the term Rosh is amazingly similar to “Ros” (also spelled Rus), the name given to the people that settled along the major rivers of the land now known as Russia, circa 700–800 ad, and from which the terms “Russia” and “Russians” derive. Meshech and Tubal could be renderings of “Moscow” and “Tobolsk,” cities that weren’t to exist for one to two thousand years after Ezekiel lived. Moscow is the capital of Russia, and Tobolsk—until recent times—was one of the most important cities of Siberia. Since the cities didn’t yet exist in his time, it would be understandable that Ezekiel used names that were familiar to him and similar in sound. For these reasons many Bible students believe that the Antichrist will rise out of Russia.
There are also indications in Scripture that the Antichrist could have something to do with Egypt (Daniel 8:22–26). Visions recorded in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel indicate that the Antichrist will be associated with ten “kings” of nations that were once part of the Roman Empire, which included much of Western and Southern Europe. The book of Revelation says these ten will “give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:13).
The Great Tribulation
Although most of the world will initially hail the Beast as a political savior, three and a half years after the enactment of the seven-year covenant, he will revoke the peace pact and manifest his satanic nature. At this time he apparently will invade Israel and establish himself in Jerusalem, making that city his world capital (Daniel 11:45).
His government will then outlaw all religions, except the worship of the Antichrist and an image of himself that will somehow be empowered to speak and “cause as many as would not worship [it] to be killed” (Revelation 13:14–15). Jesus said that when you see this image, the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place [temple] ...then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world” (Matthew 24:15,21). Thus the name given to this period is the “Great Tribulation.” It will be a time when the Beast and his regime will institute a ruthless repression and persecution of believers in God (Daniel 7:21,25; 8:23–24; 11:31–35; 12:7,10; Revelation 13:5–7).
It is at this time that the Antichrist government tries to impose globally the infamous “666” financial system, which we’ll cover next.