There will be a time of extensive rebellion against God and His kingdom on earth in the last days, shortly before the Lord pours out His judgements upon the wicked. Governments will all be deceived to pursue a humanistic and antichristian new world order. The Bible warns us against this time:
“Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us. He who sits in heaven shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give you the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Ps. 2:1-12).
The international community will take crafty counsel to utterly destroy the foundations of the Christian civilisation as it will stand in the way of their postmodern reforms. The God-fearing King David describes the outcome of this vain conspiracy: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? … The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals, fire and brimstone and a burning wind; this shall be the portion of their cup” (Ps. 11:3,5,6).
This world-wide rebellion against the Christian civilisation has already begun. The Lord also uses it as a time of testing for the righteous to see whether they will remain steadfast. From contemporary world events it is obvious that the following seven foundations of Christianity are under constant attack in concerted efforts to destroy them:
1. Faith in the Triune God of the Bible. He revealed Himself as one God, i.e. Yahweh, but also in a plural capacity as Elohim, and could therefore say: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three Persons who, together, are the one God of the Bible. Without recognising this basic fact no true religion is possible – outside of Him there is only the deceptive worshipping of idols. Since the true God is the Creator of heaven and earth, as well as all forms of life, He is the final authority in the universe. People who reject Him are rejecting His supreme authority, His saving grace and His judgements. In this way they declare themselves free to live as they please and also, like the Israelites after their exodus from Egypt, to bow down before a man-made god. When faith in the Triune God is abandoned, various other foundations are also destroyed in society.
2. The Word of God is actively rejected by fallen humanity. Since the dawn of history, people who were darkened in their mind by Satan have rejected the words and commandments of God. This rebellion already started in the Garden of Eden. God said to the man: “From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat the fruit of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). However, the devil rejected God’s word and said to Eve: “You will not surely die. For… in the day you eat it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Gen. 3:4-5). The cunning lie was that if they did not heed the unreasonable demands of God’s Word they would be immortal and all-knowing. Now, six thousand years later, the demonic-inspired rejection of God’s Word is more intense and widespread than ever before. A fire of revolt has been kindled against the Bible as God’s inspired Word, and this fire continues raging even into the churches, lecture halls and theological seminaries of most Protestant denominations. It is now commonly argued that the Bible contains a collection of mythological folk tales that should not be seriously considered or literally interpreted. The Bible is also discounted as primitive, only applicable to the time when it was written, and therefore not relevant to modern people who have discovered many new things through scientific research. At most, a number of moral lessons are derived from the Bible. Most of the Bible’s content is spiritualised, particularly prophecies referring to the end time. Consequently, modern man is ignorant on where he stands in God’s counsel and does not consider these divine revelations. As far as he is concerned, we are not heading for a time of tribulation and judgements – only a new world order of peace and unity among all nations.
3. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is currently the most important target in the rebellion against the Triune God, particularly in traditional Christian churches. It is disputed that He revealed His heavenly Father on earth and that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). His virgin birth, Messiahship, deity, atoning death, resurrection from the dead, and ascension are not only questioned but openly rejected by many churches and theological seminaries. This movement has already gained so much momentum that it has given rise to a new reformation, which is actually a deformation away from Christian principles. One of the prominent theologians at the University of Pretoria says in his book, Fatherless in Galilee, that Jesus was an illegitimate child, His mother a prostitute, and His father probably a Roman soldier. This state of affairs is offered as the reason why He fantasised about a heavenly Father. A theologian of the University of Stellenbosch says that she no longer believes in the deity and resurrection of Jesus after reading this book. The denial of Jesus’ resurrection is supported by many of the local theologians. Most of them also deny the existence of the devil and hell. Another theologian of Pretoria recently published a book on the life of Jesus as a Galilean shaman. In this book Jesus is depicted as a traditional healer and diviner (a magician or witchdoctor) who heals people and reveals secrets of divine wisdom. In this book it is alleged that shamanism was commonly practised in Israel and in their neighbouring nations. A visiting theologian of the Jesus Seminar in the USA, John Dominic Crossan, said in Pretoria that the crucifixion of Jesus was a transcendental act of child abuse and that such a cruel God, who did that to His Son, should be rejected. He also said that Jesus was never buried and that His body was eaten by dogs. After his lecture, Crossan was praised and his views were accepted by various local theologians who form part of the New Reformation. A professor of the University of Johannesburg also agrees with these explanations and added that he cannot see how a violent act such as the crucifixion can in any way be related to the redemption of mankind. In this way, the foundational principles of the Christian faith are rejected. Modern theologians refer to the biblical Jesus as (1) the cultic Jesus, since Christianity has, according to them, developed into a cult because of their wrong perceptions of Jesus; and (2) the historic Jesus. He is described as an ordinary human being who was a mere prophet, and therefore not on a higher spiritual level than Mohammed, Krishna or Buddha. This other Jesus whom the new Reformers proclaim is foreign to the Bible (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2-4).
4. Christian morality is likewise rejected by large sections of modern Christianity. If the Bible is no longer regarded as absolutely legitimate and relevant it is obvious that biblical concepts of right and wrong will also be questioned and rejected. One of the most flagrant examples of the present inclination towards immorality is the modern view on sexual licentiousness and homosexuality. In 1 Timothy 1:10 Paul says that fornication and homosexuality is contrary to the sound doctrine of the Bible. In Romans 1:26-28 he says the following regarding these perverse people: “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” Modern humanity, together with most of their churches, are standing before the gates of Sodom, knocking to be allowed in and become part of this decadent society. They willingly take sides with these people who are under God’s judgements because of their sinful and immoral lifestyle.
5. A Christian social order is also regarded as too restrictive and prescriptive and therefore rejected. When a country is functioning according to Christian standards it should have a Christian constitution in which the supremacy of the Triune God is recognised, as well as state institutions which comply with Christian standards, such as self-determination for cultural groups, Christian education, a legal system with fitting penalties for criminals, including the death penalty for murderers and rapers, a clear policy against liquor and drug abuse, as well as strong economic control against corruption, bribery, profiteering, greed, and self-enrichment. However, modern man wants the liberty to commit all these sins and therefore rejects strict Christian control of his actions. Now that the world economy is in a recession because of humanity’s materialism, greed and poor management, people become distressed and desperate. But they still don’t move in the right direction towards higher productivity, lower spending and increased saving, but rather reduce interest rates to promote further spending.
6. The Reformation of the 16th century is questioned and rejected. Protestantism originated from widespread protest against the theological deception and corrupt practices of the Vatican. It gave rise to Christian reforms in many countries of the world. But these reforms are now undone by a postmodern transformation process. To be a Protestant means to comply with strict Christian standards. The widespread abandoning of these standards has led members of the Western world away from Christian civilisation to the uncertain conditions prevailing in post-Christian societies. These societies are so free and uncommitted that all religions, ideologies and lifestyles are recognised as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. All churches and even all religions can now join hands and become co-builders of the modern tower of Babel. In our time, there are often activists who protest against clear Christian principles. There seems to be very few evangelical believers who protest against the undermining of these principles by compromising and backslidden churches. The whole process has been turned around, thereby paving the way towards modern paganism. The so-called New Reformation is used to reverse the Reformation of the 16th century.
7. Israel is rejected as God’s Chosen People, while their biblical claim to the land of Israel is also denied. No significance is attached to biblical promises that Israel will, in the last days, be restored to the land which God gave to their fathers with an oath (cf. Gen. 13:14-15; Ezek. 11:17; 36:22-28). They are instead viewed as a secular nation which is infringing upon the rights of the Palestinian people. The rejection of God and His Word inevitably also leads to the rejection and disdaining of the Chosen People through whom the Word of God has come to all the nations of the world (Rom. 3:1-3; 11:11-12). Israel’s promised spiritual restoration as a people is also disregarded (cf. Rom. 11:25-28; Ezek. 36:24-27). The rejection of Israel coincides with the discrediting of evangelical Christianity as they are strongly opposed to humanistic reforms. The Lord Jesus warned His disciples against this growing animosity: “Because you are not of the world… therefore the world hates you… In the world you will have tribulation” (John 15:19; 16:33). This hostility will take on extensive proportions in the end time as the true Christians will resist the promotion of a false christ for all faiths.
A new dispensation
When the rebellious nations of the world have rejected God and His Anointed and broke their bonds they will proceed to lay alternative foundations for their antichristian new world order to replace the seven foundations which they have destroyed. They will celebrate their complete freedom, thus giving full recognition to the religious adulteration promoted by the devil. These new foundations, upon which many people are already building their lives, are the following:
1. The universal God of all faiths is recognised and worshipped instead of the Triune God. He may be called Yahweh, Allah or Brahman, but not the Triune God. He does not have a Son – only a large number of prophets through whom people of all faiths may approach him. Paul refers to this universal god as “the god of this age” who is working in the hearts of unbelievers to prevent them from believing the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). He is a deceiver and imitator of the true God and represents the kingdom of darkness.
2. The religious traditions of all peoples will be recognised as a substitute for the abandoned Word of God’. It is commonly alleged by people who support a multireligious orientation that Christianity has impoverished itself through its narrow-mindedness, and should consider taking over institutions from the Eastern and African religions to ensure a deeper spiritual experience. They suggest that Christian prayers be replaced by Eastern, transcendental meditation, which allows for a mystical unification with the pantheistic god within every person. The deification and worship of nature, as well as various nature deities, can be taken over from peoples such as the Bushmen (or San).
3. The cosmic Jesus of all faiths is another false foundation which is offered to postmodern humanity. This Jesus is not confined to Christianity since he also has other titles such as Krishna to the Hindus, Imam Mahdi to the Muslims, and the Maitreya Buddha to the Buddhists. The universal or cosmic Jesus of all faiths is completely foreign to the biblical Jesus who is the only way to the Father. The false Jesus is propagated everywhere. The Bible calls him the Antichrist, or beast, and says that the whole world will be deceived by him: “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?” (Rev. 13:3-4). The worshipping of the Antichrist will coincide with the world-wide and compulsory worship of Lucifer as the god of this world. It is a wrong perception that Satanism is on the decrease. A very dark time is approaching in the 3½ years of the great tribulation when the worshipping of Satan and the Antichrist will be the only officially recognised religion in the world. All people who refuse to worship the image of the beast will, according to Revelation 13:15, be executed. The Antichrist will be Satan’s personal representative on earth, and John describes his power-base as follows: “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). All efforts are currently made to deconstruct the biblical image of Jesus in such a way that it can be made conformable to the image of the Antichrist. In the process they blaspheme the name of the true Christ, in the same way that the Antichrist will open his mouth in blasphemy against the Triune God (Rev. 13:5-6).
4. A humanistic morality is established in the place of Christian morality. Almost boundless liberties are allowed to people to do as they please, provided they don’t jeopardise the interests and rights of others. It is completely acceptable to lie, practice deceit, accept bribes, indulge in drunkenness and carousing, have extramarital relations or being homosexual. Atheism is also accepted. Such people will feel greatly attracted to the Antichrist, who is described as the man of sin and the son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3). There are already scores of countries that are so corrupt and morally depraved that they elect as their leaders people who are guilty of open corruption and shameless immorality of the highest degree. That is an indication that they are equally depraved and intend to continue with their evil lifestyles under these leaders. The Antichrist and his godless lifestyle will fit them like a glove.
5. A humanistic social order is presently in operation everywhere in the world, as evidenced by the constitutions of virtually all the leading nations. They are promoting an inclusive ideology for global peace and unity which allows for all religions and ideological convictions, provided people do not justify terrorism and violence against others. They do not pursue a Christian but rather a humanistic form of peace. During the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the USA, Pastor Rick Warren said in his prayer: “We stand here united not in the name of religion but in the name of peace.” He clearly implied that all religions in the USA should work together for peace. However, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). The world has its own, antichristian way to establish peace and unity among people of different religious persuasions. It is highly unfitting for a Christian leader to promote this type of peace.
6. Ecumenical thinking is highly regarded and encouraged as a substitute for Protestant thinking. Christian ecumenism aims at allying and ultimately unifying Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and all the independent Christian churches. However, this is only an interim objective on the way towards multireligious ecumenism. The final objective with the ecumenical movement is to unify all religions in a comprehensive alliance. In Revelation 17:5 this alliance is described as the mother of prostitutes who is riding the beast. This woman will be the bride of the Antichrist, just as the true church is the bride of Christ. The false religions will do well to read in Revelation 17:16 how brief and unfortunate their marriage with the Antichrist will be, and how he will summarily execute them should they refuse to worship him as God.
7. Israel will not be part of the antichristian new world order for very long as the Antichrist will order genocide of the Jews when Israel revokes their covenant with him. That will happen in the middle of the tribulation when the false messiah will declare himself to be God in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (2 Thess. 2:4). The Lord Jesus said, “When you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains… For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:15-21). The same fate also awaits true Christians who will be saved during the time of tribulation. The Lord Jesus will say to the first martyrs who arrive in heaven “that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they had been, was completed” (Rev. 6:10-11).
The fate of the false, antichristian new world order will be sealed when the Lord Jesus returns to earth after the seven years of tribulation to establish His reign of peace: “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked sings in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse” (Rev. 19:19-21).
It is only the kingdom of God which has a long-term, eternal future. Even though the Christian faith is presently exposed to intensive attacks by the devil and subjected to great pressure to accept antichristian reforms, it is still worth the effort to stand with the Lord and His Word and to refuse any compromises. When the wrath of the Lamb has been kindled the wicked will be consumed by fire. The Lord will rain coals, fire and brimstone upon them. But if we watch and pray we will be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36). The Lord Jesus has promised eternal glory to His faithful disciples, while the lake of fire is awaiting the Antichrist and his followers (Rev. 14:9-11).