One-World Order conspiracies seem to be a popular view with many people. In the first of this three-part series, we concluded that quite a bit of misinformation and misdirection is swallowed up in some of the more extreme versions. We are referring here mainly to such ideas that a sinister group of people — mostly the rich elites of the world, or possibly “international bankers” or Jews — are taking over the world rank and file.
In this installment, we now look to Scripture to discover why this emphasis upon so-called evil elites is a distraction to Christians. They lure us to divert our gaze from what should be the true object of our faith — the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dangerously, rampant OWO theories risk making us vulnerable to critical deceptions.
No Privileged Fate for the Elites
The OWO theories all mostly center on issues of money and economy — globalization and globalism, in other words. Though it is true that religious ecumenical movements can be thought of as a “globalization” phenomenon as well, the general OWO theories are basically about money and economic power. A globalizing world is indeed gradually capturing people’s freedoms and forcing them into conditions of economic oppression, ideally setting the stage for the Antichrist to finally appear. Surely, the rich get richer and more powerful, and the poor ever more desperate. Assuredly, the schemes of globalists, world industrialists and financiers work to set up the global financial and economic architecture that will play a role in the prophetic future. But yet, something else rings false in the OWO theories. Yes, Scripture documents globalization and globalism in the last days but it certainly does not idolize the elites and kings of the world that are in the forefront of installing Mammon as the ruling order for the world. While they may be presently luxuriating in five-star hotels and traveling in first-class, they in no way have a privileged future.
Consider this text: “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17). We see here a glaring point. The “rich” and the “great” are included among those who are subject to the global command economy that will be brought about at this point in the Great Tribulation. We see here that the elites and whatever other conspirators are there will “get theirs” too. The OWO theorists suggest that they will be the privileged ones who will earn a final pay-off. But, this is not so.
“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17). Here again, we see the elites get no special dispensation or privileges. Elites of all kinds — kings, princes, generals, the rich and the mighty — all suffer wrath, too. Moreover, they suffer wrath in the same measure as will anyone else during that time.
World’s Wealthy Power Brokers: Broken First
Revelation 14 clearly shows that late in the Tribulation Period, after the 144,000 elect (probably Jewish evangelists to the world) have already been redeemed and are standing before the heavenly throne of the Lamb, three angels go out. The first one gives the last altar call for repentance, exclaiming that the judgment will shortly start. The second angel follows and says, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries” (Revelation 14:8). Then comes the third angel. What does he say? He “[…] said in a loud voice: If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:9-10).
Did you catch the significance of that sequence? We see here that it is only after the great economic trading colossus (and perhaps also including a city center) has fallen that the “mark of the beast” (representing a worldwide control system) are instituted to the extent that people cannot “buy or sell.” What that means is that the globalized currency and trading systems supposedly built by the wealth of the so called rich elites, ship captains and nefarious conspirators come to naught first. The very edifice that Christian OWO theorists depict as leading the world to the Antichrist’s control gets its judgment from God. It is a financial bust.
The people OWO theorists decry and loathe are on the losing end. They don’t even get a chance to give over the worldwide system that they have built to the Antichrist, who by then embodies the Great Dragon. All that work, toil and conspiracy to take over the world in supposed selfless sacrifice to Satan, and there is no reward for them. Indeed their outcome is just as written in Proverbs: “When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing” (Proverbs 11:6-7).
Global Elites Are Not the Enemies
Here is a most important reason not to become too distracted with the OWO hysteria. Yes, economic suppression and control are a central hallmark of the Tribulation conditions. If that were not so, why would buying and selling be controlled? This measure certainly falls into an economic frame. But we have not the global elites to blame for this. It will not be the rich mavens of the world, but rather a religious figure who will bring about these conditions.
It is the False Prophet — not the Antichrist or the rich elites — who forces this condition upon the world. Most people think the Antichrist enforces this system. No. It is the second beast that comes out of the earth, the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11), who imposes this oppressive device of economic sanction in order to direct worship to the Antichrist.
But what a surprise! What does this “religious leader,” the False Prophet, have to do with the global economy? Wasn’t that supposed to be the domain of the rich and the elites? The False Prophet brings this about.
Here we see one of the greatest dangers of the OWO theories. Even though we may not be present in the Tribulation Period (though there certainly will be Christians at that time), if we follow the emphasis of the popular OWO ideas, our heads will be turned in the wrong direction. We’ll be looking at the globalists, the business leaders, the ultra-rich and elite conspirators.
But, from out of left field comes the False Prophet.
Conclusion? It is the religious arena, not the players in the economic or commercial domain, that will deceive the world into a globalist and economic trap. No wonder Revelation 17 and 18 are often misunderstood. Why is it that the great harlot of Revelation 17 is so indistinguishable from the world trading system that is profiled in Revelation 18?
Actually, there really shouldn’t be a break between these chapters. When all the things mentioned in those chapters take place, the religious sphere will be in bed with Mammon. This syncretism is already clearly developing today. Under this tent, we find a whole host of new doctrines, from “prosperity teaching” to Dominion theology.