Is it just me, or does this world seem to be going crazy? More and more things appear to be upside down, and chaos seems to be the order of the day. Good is called evil, and evil is called good. It is as if the world is coming apart at the seams, and things are getting worse by the minute. So how do we make sense of it all? To begin with, we must realize that God’s word is being fulfilled and that things are not actually falling apart so much as they are falling into place.
The Bible reveals that the last days will be marked by great turmoil and social upheaval. The wickedness of men will be such that the earth itself will convulse with pain as a woman in labor. The Bible also tells us that certain events will serve as warning signs that the end is near. These signs will alert all those who have understanding. Yet of the many signs currently coming to pass, I believe few mark the last days like the rise of a one-world government, a worldwide governing entity with the power and the means to control all peoples of all languages as described in the book of Revelation. Therefore, our focus in this section will be the rise of global government as it relates to America. Having said that, I thought it might be good for us to begin with a brief overview of some current global events as they might relate to Scripture in order to set the stage for our main topic. I would like to make it clear from the start, however, that it is not my objective to promote fear or anxiety as we evaluate the current global situation in the following chapters. Neither is it my intention to glorify Satan and his agenda as we explore his influence in the earth today and his plans for mankind. In addition, although the focus of this section is global government, it is not the main subject of this book. Rather, it is my aim to present part 1 as a kind of backdrop against which we can view God’s work in the earth as He calls out and gathers a people to Himself. You will find that the message of this book is ultimately a message of hope, revival, and restoration. So with that, let’s begin.
Reflecting on the current state of global affairs in light of Bible prophecy, I cannot think of a better place to start than Matthew 24, where we get a bird’s-eye view of what our Lord said is going to be the situation on earth just before His return. So let’s take a look at what is going on in our world these days and at some of the signs that I believe point to the fact that we are indeed living in the end-times. Jesus (Yeshua) had just finished pronouncing the eight woes on the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23 when He left the temple. His disciples, proud of their temple, as, no doubt, all good Jews of that day were, wanting to talk with Him about it, started pointing out some things of interest about the building. This prompted the Lord to give them a quick reality check that led them to ask a couple of questions. His answer included a brief overview of global events just before His return, as listed below.
MANY SHALL BE DECEIVED
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no man deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:1–5 NKJV)
Responding to the disciples’ questions about the end of the age, our Lord began by first admonishing them to beware of deceivers. In Acts 20, the apostle Paul, speaking to the church elders at Ephesus prior to departing from them for the last time, issued a similar warning in verses 28–30:
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. (NASB)
In 2 Peter 2:1, Peter also warned against deception:
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. (NKJV)
In the last days, although many will come claiming to represent Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) or to even be Him, they will not be building God’s kingdom. Neither will they be speaking on God’s behalf. Second Timothy 4:3–4 explains that in the last days, men will have itching ears. With regard to God’s word, many will only hear what they want to hear. They will not receive the truth. Instead, they will turn from it. Thus, in the last days, many will proclaim and receive a perverse version of God’s word. They will be deceived. They will have a form of godliness, but will deny the power thereof; and because false doctrines and heresies will be widespread nearing the end of the age, our Lord warns His disciples (us) by stating, “Take heed that no man deceives you” (emphasis added).
WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6–8 NKJV)
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars . . . For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
I am certain we all agree that when it comes to conflict, this world is a mess. A great majority of the nations in the world today are currently experiencing some kind of social upheaval, from political unrest and religious strife to ethnic cleansing and outright war or the threat of it. You can almost pick any country on earth today at random and find some major conflict taking place there. One cannot turn on the news without hearing about the latest violence. Some estimates of the deaths either directly or indirectly related to war and conflict for the twentieth century alone put the count somewhere at around 203 million.
Of course, we cannot discuss war and conflict without taking into account the Middle East and the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria along with the conflicts in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere. Also, who can forget that ever-festering thorn in the side of all nations: Israel? All she wants is the right to exist and live in peace, but that may be too much to ask. I venture to guess she would live on one square mile of land if she thought she could finally live in peace with her neighbors. This will not happen though because the issue is not a matter of land or real estate. The issue is a spiritual one, and Israel, more specifically Jerusalem, happens to be ground zero for the coming showdown between the God of this universe and the god of this world. Thus, the open hostility and hatred continues to spew out threats of violence and war in the region to the point that, among other things, the powers that be have not ruled out placing international peacekeeping forces there and making Jerusalem an international city. This is a sentiment echoed every now and then and fueled by events like the conflict between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 and the more recent aggressions of 2015. Speaking of Hezbollah, let’s not forget the ever-present danger of international (Islamic) terrorism, which has become an absolute nightmare with ISIS being its latest version. The point is that all around the world, we see wars and the threats of war, and sometimes one of the natural consequences of war is famine.
FAMINES . . .