The Christian New World Order

Prof. Johan Malan, University of the North, South Africa

There are clear promises in the Bible about a Christian new world order which will be instituted after the second coming of Christ. Satan will be bound and Jesus Christ will rule the world with His glorified saints. In Revelation 20:1-7, the following is said about this millennial reign:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgement was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison” (Rev. 20:1-7).

When the Lord Jesus comes back to earth it will be as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will set up a government for the whole world with Jerusalem as capital:

“Then the seventh angel sounded. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

In a major end-time prophecy Daniel likened Christ's Second Coming to a great rock which will smite the kingdoms of the world, grind them to powder, then become a great mountain filling the whole earth as He reigns in their place (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45). Zechariah says: “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9). The same promise of His reign as King on earth was made to Mary before the birth of Jesus:

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David” (Lk. 1:31-32).

The throne of David is not in heaven but on earth. Jesus does not now reign in a spiritual sense from the throne of David as this throne has, since the Babylonian captivity, been temporarily in suspension. Christ will restore this throne at His second coming and then reign from it:

“After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things” (Acts 15:16-17).

The elders around the throne in heaven (the glorified church) know that they will return with Jesus to the earth and will reign here with Him in His kingdom. They explicitly say:

“You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10 emphasis added; also see 2 Tim. 2:12).

It is therefore clearly evident that the events of Revelation coincide with a strong proclamation of the Kingship of Christ:

“Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren… has been cast down… he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:10, 12).

When Jesus, our High Priest who now intercedes for us at the throne of the Father, returns to earth, the power and influence of Satan here will be broken and the kingdom of Christ established. The devil will then no longer be the ruler and god of this present evil world (Jn. 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; 1 Jn. 5:19), but Christ as "King will reign in righteousness" as "Ruler in Israel", and "have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth" (Is. 32:1; Mic. 5:2; Ps. 72:8).

A further proof that the millennial reign is not in heaven is that in this future dispensation there will still be inherent carnality and disorderliness among the nations, which will necessitate that they be ruled with a strong hand. Although the devil will be bound and prohibited from deceiving the nations to commit rebellious deeds, they will still have a fallen nature that needs to be disciplined. In Revelation 12:5 and 19:15 it is plainly stated that Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron. About this kingdom He said to His faithful servants:

“Hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces – as I also have received from My Father” (Rev. 2: 25-27, quoting Ps. 2:9).

The Lord God (Yahweh) declares in Psalm 2:6: "I have set My King on my holy hill of Zion." During the Messianic reign the throne of the Lord Jesus in Jerusalem will represent heavenly rule and therefore be a centre of divine wisdom, power, authority and righteousness. Isaiah says:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say: Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Is. 2:2-4; also see Is. 24:23 and Zech. 8:22).

A situation such as this, in which no wars are waged, no military training is done and no weapons are manufactured, has never ever before prevailed on earth. It can only apply to a future reign of peace. Since the devil will be bound during the thousand year reign of Christ he will be unable to deceive the nations, and there will be neither violence nor warfare. Other forms of sin will also vanish and the whole world will recognise and practise the Christian religion exclusively. Even the animal creation will benefit and predation will cease:

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Is. 11:9).

Jerusalem will spontaneously be recognised by all peoples as world capital, and no hostility or political tension will prevail between individual nations:

“At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; no more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts” (Jer. 3:17).

Laxity will be the only form of misconduct that will occur as some nations will neglect their duties to serve the Lord as they should. It will still be a matter of “the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41). Their neglect will give rise to rebukes from the King and punitive measures:

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (Zech. 14:16-17).

During this time there will be an unsaved remnant of the nations on earth who will be mortal people of flesh and blood. Due to their sinful nature they will still have to be saved to truly belong to the Lord Jesus. According to Zechariah 14:16-17 they will survive the great tribulation and the battle of Armageddon. Although they did not receive the number of the Antichrist they also do not belong to Christ until they have received Him as their Saviour.

There are indications in the Bible that a small remnant of the nations will be saved together with the remnant of Israel directly after the second coming of Christ. Zechariah says that during the coming of the Messiah the surviving Jews will mourn for Him while they accept Him as their Saviour (Zech. 12:10-14; 13:1, 9). Matthew says that the surviving members of the nations will participate in this act of humbling and mourning: “…and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Mt. 24:30).

That means that the millennial reign of Christ will begin with a first generation of Christians on earth. However, these people will still have a fallen, Adamic nature with the result that all the following generations will be born unsaved and will need to be born again to become Christians. To evangelise them will be the task of the saved Israel, who will also be mortal but born again people: “Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Is. 27:6).

From Revelation 20 it is evident that later in the millennium fewer and fewer people will be saved. When the devil is loosened from his bondage in the pit he will succeed in deceiving millions of people (Rev. 20:7-9).

The doctrine of the two resurrections is also clearly related to the millennium. Only those who have part in the first resurrection (Lk. 14:14; 1 Thes. 4:16), including those saved during the tribulation period, will rule with Christ. We should exert ourselves to be quite sure we have been saved and truly born-again so as to qualify for the first resurrection:

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

The rest of the dead are the unsaved multitude of all centuries, and they will not be resurrected until the thousand years have ended (Rev. 20:5). They will then appear before the great white throne to be judged and condemned to the eternal lake of fire.

The following are the most important characteristic of the future millennial reign on earth:

·       God will rule on earth through His King of kings, Jesus Christ. A theocratic world government will, therefore, be established (Lk. 1:31-33; Rev. 19:15; Dan. 7:13-14).

·       The throne of Christ will be in Jerusalem and the restored Israel will be the hub of the world (Ps. 2:6-12; Zech. 8:22; Is. 2:2-3; 24:23; 33:17, 20-22; Dan. 7:27). His government will be characterised by righteousness and equity (Is. 1:26-27; 32:1-2, 16-17; Jer. 23:5-6).

·       Israel's capital, Jerusalem, "the city of our God", "the city of the great King", will be the centre of worship for the whole world and all nations will converge there to worship God through Christ the King of kings (Ps. 48; Zech. 14:16-20; Is. 66:18-23).

·       The saved remnant of Israel will rejoice in the Lord and evangelise the entire world (Is 12:3-6; 27:6; 40:9; 51:11). They will make the world fruitful (Is. 27:6) and God will be honoured (Is. 28:5; Zech. 8:20-23).

·       Satan will be securely bound so that he cannot deceive the nations (Rev. 20:1-4).

·       Peace will prevail everywhere upon the earth. The nations will no longer engage in war or in military training (Is. 2:4; 9:7; Mic. 5:4-5; Hos. 2:18).

·       The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9-10; Hab. 2:14).

·       There will be no disease (Mal. 4:2; Is. 33:24).

·       People will live healthily and actively to a great age – like the antediluvians. A 100-year-old person will be regarded as a child (Is. 65:20-23).

·       Nature will greatly benefit since the curse of Genesis 3:17-19 will be lifted and the whole of creation, which since then has been groaning, will be set free from the bondage of corruption into glorious liberty (Rom. 8:19-22; Is. 55:12-13; Joel 3:18).

·       An agricultural or horticultural way of life is indicated and the earth will produce food so prolifically that planting the next crop will take place before the previous one has been fully harvested! (Mic. 4:3-4; Amos 9:13-15; Is. 65:21-23; Ps. 65:9-13).

·       Harmony will also prevail in the animal kingdom. The lion will lie down with the lamb and eat straw like an ox because the Lord will make a new covenant with the animals that will change the physiology and aggressive nature of the carnivorous predators into the physiology and gentle nature of the herbivores (Is. 11:6-9; 65:25; Hos. 2:18).

Israel’s position during the coming Messianic era is frequently described in the Old Testament where it is specifically related to the day of the Lord. It will be a time of great blessing, abundance, joy in the Lord and peace on earth. Israel will fulfil its original destiny and potential as a people of God and be a nation through whom He will bless the whole earth. The following are examples of promises about Israel’s restoration and glory in the coming Messianic era:

“And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them… And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them” (Amos 9:14-15).

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they all shall know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34).

These and many other blessings will be characteristic of the Millennium when the Messiah will reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem. His glorified church will rule with Him and righteousness and equity will prevail on earth (Is. 32:1; Ps. 98: 9; Is. 11:4; Rev. 20:6b). Israel will play a leading part in world affairs and will be God’s special representative nation among all the nations of the world.

It is this promised Christian new world order which is so fanatically opposed by Satan and his kingdom to try and prevent its institution. Satan wants to utterly destroy the church of Christ who is destined to rule with Him, deceive or obliterate the people of Israel to prevent their reconciliation to the Messiah and their subsequent promotion to head of the nations, promote the non-Jewish control of Jerusalem to prevent it from becoming a Jewish/Christian world capital, and plans to fight for supremacy against Christ in the battle of Armageddon during His coming as King of kings to take control of the world.

All these hostile efforts are doomed to total failure as it is impossible to conquer the One who has all power in heaven and on earth! Jesus Christ will return in triumph to the earth with His glorified church, protect a remnant of Israel until His coming, defeat the antichristian powers at the battle of Armageddon, cast the Antichrist and false prophet alive into the lake of fire, have Satan bound in a bottomless pit, restore the throne of David and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth!

Does this Conqueror, Jesus Christ, stay in your heart through His Holy Spirit? (Jn. 14:23). If so, He will also make you more than a conqueror in the struggle against Satan and his evil devices, including the emerging new world order of the Antichrist. We are waiting for God’s new world order which will be established after the destruction of the Antichrist when the Lord Jesus comes.