The New World Order (or NWO) is the belief that an elite group has taken or is near takeover of the entire world. This conspiracy theory is usually associated with belief in a one-world government that seeks to suppress those who oppose its ways. Further, this New World Order will work to usher in a time of unprecedented prosperity, freeing the world from wars, disease, hunger, and poverty.
The book written by Frederick Hicks in 1920 called The New World Order appears to be the earliest popularization of the term related to a global power structure. The phrase has since been used in many contexts, ranging from popular fiction to a speech by George H.W. Bush claiming the cold war had ended.
From a biblical perspective, many have attempted to make an association between the New World Order and the one-world government that the Antichrist is predicted to lead in the book of Revelation. Revelation 13:7-8 shares, "And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it [the Antichrist, or first beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain."
Based on this passage and similar ones, it is predicted that a world leader will appear during the seven-year tribulation period. He will demand people to worship him, as well as require the mark of the beast to buy or sell. He will also persecute those who believe in Jesus (v. 7).
Because of these similarities, some have connected the Antichrist and his reign with the New World Order. However, while the Antichrist and his rule are clearly noted in Bible prophecy, the New World Order is a conspiracy theory. Further, the Antichrist will not emerge, according to the Bible, until the tribulation period. This means Christians need not worry about a New World Order since they will escape this judgment in the rapture that will take place at any moment and before the tribulation (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Further, the current evidence for a New World Order is lacking. Though global groups such as the United Nations and World Bank do exist, their global authority currently falls far below the claims made in conspiracy theories about the New World Order. As a look at daily headlines shows, no government can create global peace or remove all poverty or disease.
These effects of fallen humanity will persist until God creates a new heaven and new earth at the end of time, making all things new (Revelation 21—22). Christians need not fear a New World Order, but instead can look forward to our heavenly home, where we will be with the Lord and all things will be new.
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