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Previous: Revelation 6:1-2

New World Order 6:2

And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. - Revelation 6:2

He went out conquering and to conquer. Prophecy scholars are somewhat divided about the origins of this conqueror on the white horse and the extent of his domain. Most evangelical Bible teachers expect the final evil world empire to be a revived or rebuilt form of the old Roman Empire, based on Nebuchadnezzar's dream about a great statue recorded in the Book of Daniel. Here is Daniel's God-given interpretation of the dream.

31 "Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue-an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 "After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron-for iron breaks and smashes everything-and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so 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. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. - Daniel 2:31-45

Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian empire (gold) was followed by the Medo Persian Empire (silver), the Greek Empire (brass), and the Roman Empire (iron). Skipping over history to the End Times, the final evil empire will be partly iron, like the Roman Empire, and partly clay. Following that, God's eternal kingdom will be established.

Political pundits of the past several generations have discussed the pros and cons of a "New World Order" proposed by the rich and powerful "kingmakers" behind the scenes. They point to a long string of secret organizations that have worked toward a world-wide government, at least as far back as the Knights Templar during the Crusades. Later these conspirators morphed into the Illuminati, and are now represented by the Council for Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg group, and many other influential societies. You can find a more thorough discussion of this movement in Chapter 5 of our book, Connecting the Dots, where we trace "Satan's Final Empire: Global Governance and Religion." (Ron Graff and Lambert Dolphin, Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy, pp. 75-95)

The other view, advocated by some current writers, is that the final evil empire will be an Islamic caliphate. They, of course, point to the dramatic current activity of Islamic jihadists, but there are a number of problems with this theory, including the fact that it skips over the Roman era. Also, there is nothing good or benevolent about the barbaric tactics of terrorists like ISIS, al Qaeda, or Boko Haram. None of their leaders would be perceived as a rider on a white horse.

Perhaps a more likely explanation would be that Islamic immigrants in Europe could be the clay in the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and the European descendants of the old Roman Empire could be the iron.

It is entirely possible that this gifted person is already alive, and ascending the ladder of success, but is not yet in a position to be revealed as the great world leader. In fact, the Apostle Paul instructed the Thessalonians thatthis world leader's identity as an antichrist (Paul called him the "the man of sin") could not be confirmed until some powerful restraining force is removed.

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 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. 8 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. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. - 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

There are various possibilities for interpreting what this passage means, but the one that makes the most sense to us is that "the falling away" (Greek apostasia - apo "from" and histemi - "stand") is a reference to the Rapture, when Christ returns for His Church just before the Tribulation begins and this first seal is opened, introducing the rider on the white horse. Thomas Ice explains that the Greek word in this form means "away from" or "departure." It is only used twice in the New Testament-once here in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and once in Acts 21:21 where Paul was falsely accused of teaching the Jews in Gentile cities to "forsake" or "depart from" Moses. (Thomas Ice, The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3,

The Holy Spirit is the one who now restrains sinful activity (John 16:8), and once the Rapture has taken place He will, in a sense, be taken away because even though He indwells all true believers, the Church will be gone, and new believers will be killed or driven underground. Therefore there will not be Holy-spirit-filled people in government, education, or other prominent positions to hold back the flood of immorality. That is when the Beast will be able to assume control.

An anti-God world government has always been the goal of Satan. He tempted Adam and Eve to rebel against their Creator (Genesis 3). As mentioned above, evil leaders like Cain and Nimrod built cities in opposition to God's command to replenish the Earth.

8 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). - Genesis 10:8-12

God had told Noah's family to spread out and repopulate the planet (Genesis 8:15-17; 9:1, compare Genesis 1:28), but Nimrod convinced many people to stay in cities and develop a government and a religion of their own (See "Satan's throne in Pergamum" in Volume 1, Chapter 2, verse 13).

They began a process that would ultimately lead to evil world empires, and, with the Tower of Babel, they began to devise their own religion, using astrology, multi-theism, and idolatry instead of the pure truth given by God. (Genesis 11:1-9). Moreover, during Jesus' temptation the devil offered Our Lord the kingdoms of this world!

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve." - Matthew 4:8-10

This was a legitimate offer because the devil had been allowed by God to have dominion over sinners who rejected His goodness. For the rebels, the devil was the "ruler of this world" (John 12:31; also "the prince of the power of the air" - Ephesians 2:1-2, and the "god of this age" - 2 Corinthians 4:4). God's beautiful creation had become the corrupted world system (Greek cosmos). The Apostle Paul lamented:

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.- Romans 8:19-22

This is the reason John, in one of his epistles, warned us not to love the world (1 John 2:14 ff.).

Back to the issue of a final evil world empire, the question for our generation is whether or not the world is ready for this prophecy to be fulfilled. The present horrific world conditions would be a perfect setting for the rise of a seemingly benevolent dictator. Such an influential, charismatic person, with the right ideas for peace and prosperity and the right opportunity to rise to political power, would gradually assume more and more acceptance as he helped the world economy and negotiated peace.

Henry Kissinger, now 91 years old, recently released his opus on the subject of foreign affairs. It is titled World Order. Kissinger is arguably the most influential person among today's political intelligentsia. He taught government at Harvard University, served as Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford, and has been an advisor to most other Secretaries of State and Presidents since that time. Among his many achievements, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for arranging the Vietnamese cease fire. He is a promoter of behind-the-scenes policy-making organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group.

Parenthetically, Kissinger, when he was younger, was thought by some to be a possible candidate for this future world leader. However, as we just said above, and have always insisted, based on 2 Thessalonians 2, the "lawless one" cannot be positively identified until after the rapture of the Church.

Kissinger explains that there have been many different models of interaction between countries. He begins with a description of the "Westphalia Peace" of 1548, which was the agreement that ended the Thirty-Year War between the Catholics and Protestants after the Reformation. This system viewed various European countries as sovereign states with a balance of power. Kissinger seems to consider this the best model, and the one that should prevail in the future, but modified to accommodate some of the other realities-The US model, the Chinese self-concept as a great regional leader, and the Islamic system of believers and infidels (Diane Francis, Financial Post, Kissinger's new world order,

He also believes that the hope of a more unified world will be through economic institutions rather than political agreements.

Next: Revelation 6:3-4


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