by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
One of baseball's fundamental rules is three outs end an inning. If the Western world were a baseball team, the side is just about retired.
This century has seen three world wars. Three? Yes. The first two world wars have been hot wars—shooting wars—both won by the allied forces of America, Britain and France, among others. The third world war was the Cold War, ostensibly won by Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
Certain intriguing parallels among the aftermaths of these three wars may help us to see the path world events can follow in the years ahead. If man holds true to form, he will not learn from his failures, and he will not avoid further misery and pain.
After each of these wars, leading statesmen and politicians have tried to create global cooperation institutions. American President Woodrow Wilson pushed a feeble League of Nations upon the world after World War I. His failed vision ended in World War II.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's post-World War II plan, skeptically accepted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in their statement of Allied war aims, paved the way for the United Nations. The UN, like its predecessor, is weak and meddling. Even in the Gulf War, the UN's role as a law-enforcing body was largely symbolic, as the real power came from the allied weaponry arrayed against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Over most of its history, the UN has acted as little more than a forum to showcase the hostilities between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
But then the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and soon the Soviet Union and its satellite nations collapsed in response. George Bush, and later Bill Clinton, called for the nations of the world to band together under the umbrella of democracy in the New World Order.
If they are successful—and they are working hard at it—will their efforts lead to lasting peace? The odds are against them, as well as biblical prophecy.
More likely, the New World Order presages more conflict and a miserable trip down the path to Armageddon.
The New World Order could provide a sugarcoated shell for the coming world dictator, the Beast, to hatch his sinister plans. Of the King of the North, Daniel writes, "Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery" (Daniel 11:32), and II Thessalonians 2:9-12 and Revelation 13:12-17 show that the False Prophet will deceive the world into allegiance to the Beast, probably under the guise of "Peace and safety!" (I Thessalonians 5:1-3).
But in the end, the Beast's true nature comes out:
He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses. . . . Thus he shall act against the strongest of fortresses . . . and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:37-39)
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. . . . And 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. (Revelation 13:5, 7)
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon." (Revelation 16:13-16)
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. . . . Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober! (I Thessalonians 5:4, 6)