Bible prophecy tells us that an end-time world power will dominate world trade, international politics and military might, and will lead humanity to the brink of total self-destruction. But it will not be the sort of one-world government that conspiracy theorists expect—and it will be followed by an even greater government that will finally bring true peace to the entire world!
As far back as the Tower of Babel, mankind has dreamed of a one-world government. Mankind, commanded by God to diversify over the face of the earth, chose, instead, to remain together in one place, in defiance of their Creator’s desire. Yet, it was not then God’s will that humanity be united in one location under one human government, and He intervened to scatter humanity across the earth by dividing the languages of man (Genesis 11:1–9). Ever since, every kingdom of men to rise and seek such a level of power has eventually met its own end.
Will the world ever come under the control of a single, globe-spanning government? Should such a worldwide authority rise among men, what can we expect of it? Will it fulfill our hopes or our fears? Your Bible has the answers! God’s word tells us not only of a coming tyrannical human government that will seek control over all the earth, but also of a successful global government that will finally bring the peace mankind has long desired. You need to know the future of the world, and its coming one-world government!
A History of Failed Attempts
World-ruling empires of the past reached a zenith in their power but eventually fell into ruin. The great Babylonian Empire, for example, conquered many nations, including the kingdom of Judah in the Middle East. This vast empire featured the famous hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The ancient historian Herodotus wrote, “In addition to its size… Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world.” But its depravity and moral decline led to God’s judgment. The handwriting was on the wall, and the Persian army captured the so-called impregnable city of Babylon.
Are such dreams of one-world government dead? Even today, voices cry out for a one-world government to solve our critical global conflicts and problems. Some Europeans envision a revival of the old Roman Empire. The modern parliament building of the European Union in Strasbourg evokes this ancient tale of the Tower of Babel, visually mirroring its unfinished structure and representing the EU’s hope to peacefully unite the many peoples and languages under its influence.
Such hopes for Europe spring from the continent’s experience of two devastating world wars, which raged on its soil. But will such efforts succeed in the hands of nationalistic leaders? History teaches us what to expect.
At the end of World War I, President of the United States Woodrow Wilson proposed a league of nations that would work together for world peace. That institution failed, and the world saw another global war only one generation later. After World War II, in 1945, the United Nations was formed for the same purpose. And yet the turmoil in the world around us today is sobering evidence that the 193 member-states of the U.N. have not established the way to lasting world peace. The European Union, as well, has struggled with the pressures of nationalism.
In a May 2015 encyclical, Pope Francis stated, “It is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions…. [T]here is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago’” (Laudato Si, 175).
Human Governments, Human Weaknesses
Who would be in charge of such a “true world political authority”?
Political authorities historically have reflected the selfish aims of world domination. Benito Mussolini envisioned a revival of the Roman Empire. History.com accurately describes his ambitions:
Benito Mussolini’s self-confessed ‘thirst for military glory’ battled his acute intelligence, psychological acumen, and political shrewdness for control over his military policies. Originally a rGod's creationary Socialist, he abandoned his party to advocate Italian intervention in World War I. Following the war, in which he served as a rifleman, Mussolini decided his destiny was to rule Italy as a modern Caesar and re-create the Roman Empire. He forged the paramilitary Fascist movement in 1919–1921, using it to march on Rome, become prime minister, and then to seize dictatorial power (1925–1926) (History.com, “Benito Mussolini”).
Italy allied itself with Germany and their “Axis” power went down in defeat at the end of World War II. But will there be another attempt for a Roman Empire revival? We’ve discussed that subject many times in the pages of Tomorrow’s World. The book of Revelation in your Bible features a symbolic beast, representing a powerful military, political, and economic superpower that historically embodied the Roman Empire. Revelation predicts a final revival of that empire and its world governmental influence.
This superpower government that will rule worldwide is now in the formative stages. This prophesied end-time revival of the Roman Empire will be led by a powerful leader called “the beast.” Notice we are told in Revelation 17 that ten kings or kingdoms, symbolized by horns on a beast, will “give” or yield their sovereignty to this dictator: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (vv. 12–13).
This superpower will boast political, economic, and military authority. The global empires of the past used military might to achieve powerful control over nations. Hans Morgenthau, one of the foremost authors in his time on international politics, discussed “the struggle for power and peace,” in his classic book, Politics Among Nations. Morgenthau summarizes what he calls a false solution for world conquest:
It follows that a world state created by conquest and lacking the support of a world community has a chance to maintain peace within its borders only if it can create and maintain complete discipline and loyalty among the millions of soldiers and policemen needed to enforce its rule over an unwilling humanity. Such a world state would be a totalitarian monster resting on the feet of clay, the very thought of which startles the imagination (Politics Among Nations, Fourth Edition, p. 496).
Ancient Prophecies of Our Time
Your Bible does describe an end-time world power with feet of clay! The prophet Daniel describes symbolically four world-ruling empires ending with the final revived Roman Empire. God had given Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon, a dream of successive global kingdoms. The Jewish prophet Daniel was called before the king to interpret the dream, and we read of his description of the image in Daniel 2:31–34:
You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
What empires or kingdoms did this image symbolize? Most reputable Bible scholars agree on their identity.
Daniel told the king that the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar himself and his empire of Babylon. This empire was replaced by the Medo-Persian Empire, represented by the chest and arms of silver. The belly and thighs of bronze represented the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great, and the two legs of Iron represent the Roman Empire from 31bc to 476ad. Finally, the ten toes on two feet of iron mixed with ceramic clay represent a future revival of the Roman Empire.
Bible prophecy reveals that a great superpower will arise in Europe, and it will be a revival of the Roman Empire. This great power will be political, military and economic. You can read about its economic power in Revelation 18. God Almighty warns us not to participate in the sins of this carnal one-world government! The Apostle John writes in Revelation 18:4–5, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.’”
This final end-time world-ruling Beast power will not be supported by Jesus Christ, but by a counterfeit power led by the “dragon,” Satan the devil. As Revelation 13:5–8 declares:
And he [the Beast power] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
A Very Different World-Ruling Government
Returning to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we note that the statue that represented world-ruling powers—ending with the revived Roman Empire—was demolished. How? As Daniel explained to King Nebuchadnezzar:
You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:34–35).
The stone that struck down the carnal empires represented the coming Kingdom of God. As Daniel proclaimed, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (v. 44).
This final government to come, pictured by the stone, will not merely be one more of man’s many, many experiments with self-rule—whether it be socialism, communism, fascism, monarchy, democracy or any of the other varieties of governance humanity has devised.
Whatever their form of government, today’s nations are living the way of selfish power that will lead to World War III and the Great Tribulation Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:21–22!
The good news is that the coming one-world government, pictured by that stone “cut out without hands,” will benefit all people and nations. That government is called the Kingdom of God! The ruler of that kingdom will be Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the One who knows what it’s like to be human. The One who shed His blood so that we may be forgiven of our sins.
Recall how John the Baptist testified of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in John 1:29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” Yes, this coming world ruler will be a loving, compassionate King. But He will also possess the power to stop oppression, rebellion, injustice and war. The prophet Isaiah gives us this inspiring message concerning the coming one world government: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6–7).
A Government of True Peace
Thank God for His kind of loving government that will ensure world peace for all nations! The world will have a universal system of laws to ensure godly liberty and godly freedom. Notice that in Micah 4:2, “Many nations 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 the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem, the city of conflict in our day and age, will eventually live up to its meaning as city of peace. Around the world, former defense industries manufacturing military weapons will be transformed into industries of peace. Christ will rebuke warlike peoples and nations. The weapons of war will be turned into instruments of peace and productivity. Some of you reading this article may have seen the sculpture outside of the United Nations in New York, depicting a man beating a sword into a plowshare. Imagine how the world will be transformed from destructive methods to productive methods, as we read in Micah 4:3, “He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Who will be assisting Christ in ruling the nations and establishing that peace? The Apostle Peter once asked Jesus what responsibilities he and his fellow apostles would have in the coming age. In Matthew 19:28, we read of the Messiah’s reply, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’”
God’s government will be organized with faithful governors, kings and priests. Who else will be assisting Christ in governing the world? In our inspiring free booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?, Dr. Roderick Meredith wrote this concerning the organization of God’s Kingdom:
Who will rule under Christ? God certainly trained Abraham for a top position of high responsibility in the world ahead. Scripture calls Abraham ‘the heir of the world’ (Romans 4:13). Yes, God will reward Abraham for his faith by giving him a position of service over the whole earth!
In Ezekiel 37:15–28, God shows that He will reunite Israel and Judah. Regarding these two nations, He says: “And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again” (v. 22) (p. 6).
Ancient King David was a man after God’s own heart, as we read in Act 13:22. David ruled over the combined kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and he will have that responsibility in the coming one-world government (Ezekiel 37:24). If you do not have a copy of this free resource, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?, please contact us at the Regional Office nearest you, listed on page 4, and request your own copy.
Your Part in Tomorrow’s World!
So, we can expect biblical luminaries such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David to have positions in the coming one-world government of God, but what about you? Will today’s Christians also inherit the Kingdom? What will their role be in that government?
Jesus Christ told His faithful followers that they could inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5) and inherit the Kingdom (Matthew 24:34).
Where will the saints, faithful Christians, serve and rule in the Kingdom? Revelation 2:26 tells us that those who overcome sin with Christ’s help in this life will be given authority over the nations in the world to come. And Revelation 5:10 bears witness that God will make us “kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”
Yes, you can have a personal and intimate part in God’s Kingdom! God is calling people to Christ from all nations to be in His Kingdom. That one-world government is coming soon. You need to prepare for it. Study your Bible. Visualize the transformed world under the King of kings.
The glorious Kingdom of God on earth will produce beauty and productivity the world has never known. God has blessed the earth with awesome, majestic mountains, fertile valleys and productive plains. We marvel at pristine lakes and churning oceans. We appreciate the variety of flowers, plant life, birds, animals and sea life. Yet even the natural world itself will become more beautiful in tomorrow’s world, when even the very nature of animals will change. Isaiah gives us this vision of the future 1,000-year period of Christ’s reign with the saints:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. 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 (Isaiah 11:6–9).
That new world is coming soon! You need to pray, “Your Kingdom come!” And you need to be watching the prophetic trends and signs heralding Christ’s return!