We need… a one world government?

Jesus is coming back, will come to Jerusalem and install a one-world government. The hope of all those who hope they have backed the ‘winner’.

The antiChrist will soon appear and we will be in trouble (unless of course some theory drummed up around 1830 is correct that we are all whoosed out of here just in time), we will not be allowed to buy and sell, as a one-world government is installed. The nightmare ahead of us all.

Both the above of course are dependent on a certain way of reading the Scriptures and both are pretty deterministic. The first includes a very big part of ‘who God really is’ and therefore he rules in this way, the real ‘top down model’; the latter… well ‘drummed up’ and with a movement within it that flies in the face of the direction of movements in Scripture, which are consistently heaven to earth. So (‘perspectives’ remember) let’s push for an alternative one-world government scenario.

[Preamble: I read the Bible as wonderfully incomplete. The future is open; Revelation was for then and therefore is highly relevant for now – but is not predicting now, or the immediate future; the Fall of Jerusalem is such a pivotal point in history, and the point of Matt. 24 and parallels, blah blah blah…]

Not allowed to buy and to sell? Buying and selling describes transactional dealings, and of course is representative of how economies tick. But what if there was an alternative economy? One based on ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’, one that valued where I gave myself (my time) rather than rewarded me for perpetuating inequalities. Idealistic? Probably so, but then the nature of apocalyptic writings was to personify, concretify realities in extreme form (kind of the opposite of ‘idealify’). Are we likely to move toward a chip that allows a buying of goods in our local supermarket? Probably. Will that be a sign of the beast? Yes… in the same way that most economies have been marked by the beast for centuries. I would not worry too much about such a chip, as it is simply moving it from a card that is carried that is an extension of our bodies and placing it in our bodies. That is not a big jump, and in reality I think we need a much bigger jump in reverse direction any way! We are already complicit, and if that is a knowing compromise that we hold lightly and act differently to we really don’t have too much of an issue.

Global reparations. Boris Johnson (remember him?) recently said that no country can afford to make reparations for the issues of slavery and of climate destruction that have been made, hence Britain should not even be asked to go down that route. Maybe we could say, surely we are not our brother’s keeper. Responsible for others, other ethnicities? Surely not!

I actually am a bit of a globalist. We need some global responses to the problems we have created together (the word created there is something of an oxymoron as God said of creation ‘it is good’, maybe it should read ‘the problems we have destroyed together’… but that too does not read right!)

We actually need some form of one-world government. Not a rule from Jerusalem over the nations; certainly not a rule that oppresses – a Babylon / tower of babel. And probably / certainly not something with a headquarters somewhere. Maybe this is what Paul had in mind about phase 2 beyond ‘ekklesia in Jesus Christ in every context’. What if through stance (we see a new creation) a consistent revolution begins that pushes back against every self-centred / ethnic-centred / geo-political-centred stance, such as ‘Make xxx great again’, restore our sovereign borders and keep the others out (but let us live where we want cos we are not immigrants, but ‘ex-pats’). A revolution that changes the atmosphere, and brings on board some ready to risk it Asiarchs who see beyond their privileges to also seeing ‘new creation’.

Maybe that could be ekklesia 2.0? All kinds of people together, new economies, new ecologies, new…

Yes something not too pure, but within it and flowing into it those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

Not a ‘we’ll tell you what to do’ one-world government of antiChrist, nor that of the dream of Christians who backed the winner! Yeast in the bread. Could this be why Jesus prayed ‘don’t take them out of here’?

No, not future, and yet of course maybe

There could be one, but!

I do not believe the Bible prophesies that there will be a future antiChrist. Interestingly, for example, Hal Lindsey has a chapter on the antiChrist in his book ‘Late Great Planet Earth’, but nowhere does he quote the verses (all in 1 John) that actually use the term ‘antiChrist’ in that chapter! The teaching of a future antiChrist has to put together ‘man of lalwlessness’ and ‘false prophet’ alongside each other and then suggest somehow that is what John was referring to.

In John the use of the term is of a spirit that ‘denies the Father and the Son’. If there was some early expectation of ‘an antiChrist’ we also have the very real issue that anything future in the NT we would have to show is still future for us – cf. the man of lawlessness was future for Paul’s readers in Thessalonians, one of his early letters, but is fulfilled in the entry to the Temple in Jerusalem in AD70… the sacrilege that brings desolation (from Daniel referring to Antiochus Epiphanes, and to AD70 that Luke helps decipher the biblical language with ‘armies surrounding Jerusalem).

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also (1 John 2:18-23).
And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world (1 John 4:3).

Could there be a future ‘one-world-ruler’? Yes, there could. Could we quote many Scriptures to show what kind of person that was, once he (and more likely to be a ‘he’ than a ‘she’) was visible? Yes indeed… in the same way that Judas Iscariot was a example of a friend who betrayed and the OT Scripture was quoted to show what was going, an OT Scripture that did not prophesy Judas’ existence.

A one-world-government. OH yes. That is / and was always the conflict we are caught up in. The do-not-eat of that tree set up the conflict; it set powers in place that have always been pushing for a full manifestation of such a scenario. The tower of Babel is another wonderful story that illustrates so much that gives us hope – God had to come down to see this big tower that was reaching into heaven (the irony is not to be missed) and the unimpressive project remained unfinished. Add to that the day of Pentecost and the reversal of the God-set boundary and we should really not have too much to be worried about. Pentecost was to release the imagination of a new world, one shaped from heaven and manifesting on the earth… seems we have been keen to reverse that with the fear of a big ever-getting-badder world with our only hope to escape. (Now what was that prayer of Jesus? The prayer connected to glory? I think it might be something like ‘I pray you do not take them out of the world’?)

Loads to imagine and yet! We as body of Christ have not really got hold of living counter-culture to the world. Where there is active persecution (thankfully) the church has sought to be true in their allegiance and suffered enormously. None of that goes unnoticed and is certainly ‘adding to the afflictions of Christ’; but in the more comfortable West we have so often retreated to ‘we’ve lost our privileges (Christendom) and want them back so we can rule (have our way)’. That does not add to the afflictions of Christ, but rather inflicts suffering on those we are here to bless… Christ-like or antiChrist-like? To deny the Father and the Son probably has some element of not acknowledging their true core identity: not surprising as the ‘fall’ was a desire to be like the god they imagined, not living out their true humanity, that is truly God-like.

We really should have a critical eye open to the mark of the beast, not as some implant or tattoo but as an ever-present reality. I guess if we could have transported someone from the first Century to our day and explained to them how our economic system works they would freak out with thoughts of 666 flashing in neon lights through their heads. Part of the freak might be simply the inability to come to terms with the huge change in the past 2 millennia, but part of the freak I suspect might be justifiable biblically. Just as Babylon is always present, and is always incomplete, we should not totally freak out ourselves, but we do need our eyes open. Following Jesus does not start with a set of private beliefs with no impact on our lives; indeed for a certain rich young ruler it was to begin with a change to his bank account!

Conscience, yours is not mine; convictions, yours are not mine; honest assessment, honest over where I am compromising, and then honestly asking if it is in order to move today closer to tomorrow (redemptive) or is my compromise submitting tomorrow to that one-world-government reality.

I am so glad that (as I see it) AD70 sets such a wonderful ceiling to the vast majority of the NT, saving me from speculation, fearfully trying to avoid the world to stay clean, but anchoring me in the questions of ‘OK Martin so how are you going to live then’ – much more relevant that a future antiChrist, are the questions of whether I am more Christ-like or antiChrist-like. I am not called to avoid antiChrst as a person; I think I am instructed to avoid imbibing of antiChrist at all levels.

Maybe I should add I do see one book that goes beyond the AD70 scene; the ‘cartoon’ book of Revelation, probably the best critique of power that has ever been, after all it is an unveiling, taking away the facade, the mask. Written to minority groups within the huge matrix system of the day, the only time a Babylon has been manifest to that level, truly one that was the machine that enabled that era to be labelled as ‘the fullness of times’ giving all the oikoumene (inhabited, civilised world) into the hands of the ‘devil’. Thank God that in Jesus the offer of taking that over was refused. His kingdom is not of this world(-system / -order). Never was, never is, and never will be – the will be bit is a challenge to a lot of eschatology. Years ago I read the Reconstructionist writings. Turn the other cheek was explained as simply a response that was necessary now, but then… there will be another response. That teaching (by non-charismatics) influenced so much of charismatic theology in the decades post-80s. Jesus, ‘the Coming King’, but not king as you know it.