When it comes to the end times, the Bible is clear. A global government will rule the entire earth (Daniel 7:23). It will be more than another superpower. It will rule the whole world. This not only makes it different from past nations, kingdoms, and empires of the world – it makes it completely unique.
Think about it. Of all the nations in human history, how many managed to set up a global empire? None. Ancient Rome held vast power and influence. But it didn’t rule China. It didn’t rule South America. It ruled large portions of the known world. But it wasn’t a global empire. And the same is true for every other empire in history.
In the Book of Revelation, John describes the power of this global empire and its ruler, the Antichrist. He says this empire will rule over “all people, tribes, and languages” on earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be total and complete. No one will be able to buy or sell anything without permission (Revelation 13:16-17). Think about that. What nation has ever held such awesome power? None. The power to control all buying and selling means even black markets will be shut down. Such power has never existed, and it doesn’t exist now. Yet, the Bible says it will come.
Why do I bring this up? Because our generation is unique. It’s the first in history with the means to set up a truly global government. Throughout history, huge obstacles have blocked the path to global empire. But today? Those obstacles disappear on an almost daily basis. Let’s look at the top four and why our generation will be the first in history with the ability to set up a global empire like the one described in the Bible.
1) Language Barriers
Since the Tower of Babel, language has divided the world. Lack of a common language has been one of the greatest obstacles to a world empire. But thanks to technology, the language barrier will soon disappear. In Chapter 10 of my book Signs of the Second Coming, I wrote:
“But soon, new technologies will enable us to eliminate language barriers forever. People will speak in their native language and, through a special earpiece, be heard in the listener’s native language. It’s only a matter of time, and once it happens, the language barrier will disappear forever.”
That was two years ago. Since then, “soon” has become “now.” In May, a start-up company called Waverly Labs started taking pre-orders for a device called “The Pilot.” So what is this device? According to the company, it’s “the world’s first smart earpiece which translates between users speaking different languages.” The company’s tagline? “A world without language barriers.”
Again, these are only pre-orders. The actual product might not be as seamless as claimed. But even if it has rough edges, you know it’s only a matter of time before such devices are commonplace. Earlier this year, Skype rolled out “Skype Translate” with a goal of instantly translating phone calls and text messages. Reviews have been mixed, but the technology continues to advance. Again, it’s only a matter of time. Soon, the dividing line of language will be gone forever.
2) Common Goals
In the past, distinct cultures separated people. Most nations had competing goals rather than common goals. However, two trends are changing that:
1) Modern technology, and
2) The need to survive
With the rise of technology, the cultural divide is withering away. On-demand, anywhere streaming of movies, music, books, and websites cross over borders. We have global sports stars, global movie stars, and global musicians. And all of this contributes to the rise of a single global culture.
Nationalism is on its deathbed. Fewer and fewer people buy into the notion their country is always right. Because of their education and travels, more and more people view themselves as “citizens of the world.”
You can see this in the European Union. If you live in England, your passport no longer says “England.” It says “European Community.” Fewer and fewer people identify as French, Italian, or German. More and more identify as European. But the EU isn’t alone. In other parts of the world, open borders are eroding cultural and linguistic barriers.
Another obstacle to global empire is law enforcement. After all, how do you police the entire world? The logistics are staggering.
With past technology, a global empire would be impossible. It would stretch armies, supply lines, and communications razor thin. Its influence would weaken with each step taken away from its center. Think of ancient Rome. It dominated Italy. It held total power over the Mediterranean. But the far edges of the empire? Constant trouble. Rebellion. Invasion. Weakness. Why? Because the more Rome expanded, the more land it had to control and defend.
Even in recent years, great powers have found it near impossible to rule a single nation. Think about how much harder it would be to rule the entire world. Think of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Or how about U.S. incursions into Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? In each of these cases, mighty superpowers struggled to control third world nations. Given those examples, the idea of a global empire seems absurd. And for most of human history, a global empire has been absurd. But technology will soon change that. Don’t believe me?
Just look at advances in warfare alone. Already we see the rise of robot fighters. Do a Google search of “robot cheetahs” or “robot soldiers,” and you’ll get an idea of what’s coming. The use of such robots will make a global empire not only possible, but ruthlessly efficient. And surveillance? Spying will become easier in the future. Intelligence-gathering, mosquito-size robots already exist. And soon, technology will give rise to “smart dust,” nearly invisible particles capable of “seeing” and “listening” to everything. With the use of AI (think of IBM’s “Watson” from Jeopardy!), a global empire will be able to sort through billions and trillions of human interactions. Those deemed “inappropriate” or “forbidden” will be reported to the government. In such a world, just a few people with a robot army and AI could rule much of the world.
The same AI that will make global surveillance possible will also allow a global empire to do away with bureaucracy. This has long been an obstacle to global rule.
Think about it. Just as the ancient Roman Empire struggled to control territory the larger it grew, it also struggled to govern the larger it grew. And the Roman Empire only touched parts of three continents. Imagine if it tried to rule the entire world. Talk about a bureaucratic nightmare!
Even if ancient Rome could have managed the logistics of a global empire, could it have really controlled every economic transaction in the world? No. Of course not. The Roman Empire couldn’t even control every economic transaction in the City of Rome itself. Black markets were alive and well in ancient Rome, and they’re alive and well today. But a day will soon come when black markets no longer exist, because the Bible says the revived Roman Empire will be so powerful no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:17).
How is this possible? It’s difficult to say. But again, the most likely explanation is through the power of technology. Already, the majority of the world’s financial transactions are electronic, and governments can see and track everything. Cash-only black markets do exist. But how much longer will cash exist? Governments don’t have a monopoly on new technology. Criminals have access as well, and it’s becoming much more difficult to stop counterfeiting. When the average person can create currency identical to the original, what do you think will happen? Currency and coins will become worthless. And banking, buying, and selling will move to the only place where they can be protected – the electronic networks.
Obstacles to global empire have persisted for centuries. But they’re under attack. Soon they’ll be torn down forever. For those who understand bible prophecy, this comes as no surprise. The Bible tells us a global empire will dominate the world in the years just prior to Christ’s return (Daniel 7:25). It’s no coincidence we see the pieces falling into place at the exact same time when we see an unprecedented convergence of end time signs.
Those signs include, but are not limited to: the restoration of Israel (Isaiah 11:12), the Jewish people in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the worldwide spread of the Gospel (Matthew 24:14), and dramatic increases in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4). Today, we see all these signs.
If the return of Jesus is near, we should see signs of a coming global empire right now. Is that what we see? I believe so. For all of human history, global government has not only been elusive, it’s been impossible. But today, it’s not only becoming possible. It’s a foregone conclusion.