The Promise Of World PeaceErwin W. Lutzer | November 15, 1987
Selected highlights from this sermon
The world is apparently improving, according to the New Age Movement. They vilify the West, along with Christianity, and encourage us to look to the East. A global solution and a peaceful “messiah” are their goals.
This is eerily similar to the biblical testimony concerning the end times. We don’t know when history will wrap up, but this propagation of occult practices certainly sets the stage.
I think that all of us are aware that there is a spiritual revolution that is taking place in the United States. And as we’ve learned, the best way to understand this spiritual revolution is to realize that there are three different ways of looking at God. One is to be a theist, to believe that God is the creator of the world; the sustainer of the world; a personal God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The other way to look at God is to say that there is none. That’s atheism, that the only reality is the material world. Atoms are the final reality.
There’s as third way of looking at God, and that is to say that pantheism is the right way. Pantheism says all is God, and God is all. And behind this physical world there is a spiritual force. In fact, final reality is spiritual. There is a spiritual force and you can get plugged into that spiritual force through various and sundry different door or avenues.
Behind that spiritual force there are people who have died and gone on. They are ascended masters, guides. Channeling can help you plug in to other forms of consciousness. For some people the way of entry is through drugs. They have an experience that would be called an altered state of consciousness. Other people may have the experience through astrology, through rebirthing, and more than 150 other techniques, all of them as bridges into the unseen spiritual world, as people are finding their identity through mind-expanding experiences.
One of the things that must be said for the New Age Movement is that it is incredibly optimistic. All of the literature that I read says that we are on the verge of a spiritual revolution worldwide. When people begin to realize that they are gods, they begin to recognize their own divinity and therefore are going to come together to solve problems that up until now were insoluble.
Look at this advertisement:
Governments Invited to Solve Their Problems
The world government of the age of enlightenment announces its readiness to solve the problems of any government regardless of the magnitude and nature of the problem, political, economic, social or religious, and irrespective of its system, capitalism, communism, socialism, democracy, or dictatorship.
And then it gives an invitation. And it says here that this world government has already developed techniques to fulfill all of these promises. And then it ends with this: “With the blessings of Gurudev, life on earth now is on the doorstep of the perpetual sunshine of the age of enlightenment.” Here’s the advertisement and here’s the person who is going to bring peace to the world.
What you will be finding very shortly, and if you read New Age literature, you will already know that it is true. What you will find is that there are going to be two argument used to bring about a peace based on eastern religions. First, the west is blamed for all of the problems that exist in the world. There are writings today that say that it is capitalism’s fault that you have hunger and starvation in other countries. It’s capitalism that caused the problem. And the West not only has the wrong form of government, mainly capitalism, but the west also has the wrong religion, namely the Judeo-Christian tradition, and both of those must go because they are bankrupt from the standpoint of pollution for the problems of the world. That’s the first argument, and therefore the argument will go, “We’ve got to all face east, to go back to the ancient wisdom, to go back to a religion that is older than Christianity, and in facing east we will find in the serenity of contemplation and transcendental meditation the answer to our needs and our enlightenment.”
The second argument that will be used, which is already in this advertisement that I read a few statements of just a few moments ago, the second argument will go like this: The problems of the world are absolutely insoluble apart from a massive global solution. We have global problems, therefore we need a global, comprehensive worldwide solution for the problems of the world. Now, what the Bible predicts is that there is going to be the establishment of a religion and a kingdom and a messiah that will stand in direct opposition to everything that the Bible teaches. It is going to be a false religion. It will be a counterfeit religion. It’ll be a wrong religion, and it will have an incredible amount of control over the world for at least 42 months, two and a half years.
Now what I’d like to do is to give you very briefly what that means. First of all, there is going to be a new Christ. Remember that ad in 1982 in many major newspapers that said, “The Christ is now here.” Incidentally, that was based on the belief that in 1962 this Christ was born because it was at that time that the eight planets lined up under the constellation Aquarius. And remember what the ad said: “The world has enough of hunger, injustice and war. In answer to our call for help, the world teacher for all humanity is now here. The Christ is now here. How will we recognize him? Look for a modern man concerned with modern problems.” And then the ad goes on. His name is Lord-Maitreya, known by Christians as the Christ, and as Christians await the second coming, so Jews await the Messiah; the Buddhists await the fifth Buddha; the Muslims, Imam Mahdi; the Hindus, Krishna. These are all names for this one individual. Finally, the embodiment of what all the religions of the world look forward to, he is the Christ.
Benjamin Creme, who is involved in the New Age Movement, says that finally, when this man arrives, he will stand next to Christ and the world will see that this man, Maitreya, is the real Christ because he will stand taller than Jesus of Nazareth.
Now, isn’t it interesting that the Bible says in 2 Thessalonians very clearly that when Anti-Christ comes, he is going to be in league with the devil and he will do mighty works? It says he will work with all power and signs and lying wonders. All three of those words are used in the New Testament to refer to the miracles of Jesus Christ—powers, wonders and signs, but all of these will be done under the instigation and the strength of Satan.
Do you understand now why it is so important for Satan to prepare the world for the end times by teaching pantheism? You see, if the world were totally atheistic, and believed that matter is the final reality, it would be very difficult for the world to accept miracles. Atheists have always been opposed to miracles. But the New Age Movement is full of miracles. The New Age Movement has books on how you can create your own miracles, and as a result of that the world will believe. Every head will turn except those who are true believers in Jesus Christ.
So there will be, first of all, a new Messiah. Secondly, there’s going to be a new religion and every single thing that Christianity has will be duplicated. Instead of prayer, there will be mantras. Instead of preachers, there will be gurus. Instead of needing to be born again, the great emphasis is on rebirthing. Instead of prophets, there are psychics. Instead of the Ten Commandments laid down in the Bible, there are already ten new commandments. I have a copy of the ten commandments of the New Age Movement. I can’t take time to read it to you, but they’re already there, set in stone as a matter of fact. The ten commandments have already been written.
There will be a trinity that will correspond to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. For example, Revelation 13, if you turn there just for a moment to Revelation 13 where the whole scheme of Satan is unveiled in a very few verses. Notice what it says about the dragon. Revelation 13:4, “They worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast.” The dragon represents God the Father. The beast represents Christ. He is Antichrist. “And they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him? And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for fourty-two months was given to him.” That’s three and a half years.
Now notice that there is another beast in verse 11. “I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.” And this beast, if you read the rest of the passage, causes all the people on the earth to worship the first beast. Do you notice the dragon represents God the Father? The first beast corresponds to Christ. The second beast corresponds to the work of the Holy Spirit. A perfect counterfeit duplicate. And the Bible says that that is going to take place as the whole world worships the beast. This is an awesome statement.
Notice verse 7: “It was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” That’s a remarkable statement, because those are the words that are reserved for Jesus Christ. And God is going to allow Satan through the Antichrist for a few shining moments to rule the world, before Antichrist and all of his forces will be cast into hell forever where they will be tormented day and night into eternity.
So you have, first of all, a new messiah. And they say he’s already here. Secondly, you have a new religion. Thirdly, you have a new government, a new government. Because, as we find out from other passages in the book of Revelation, this economic system is now finally going to control the world. There will no longer be any paper money, which is a headache anyway. Well, I guess some of us wouldn’t mind the headache if we had a little more of it. There is going to be a worldwide guidance system, a unified Europe, a unified economic system. And the government will have authority to achieve its goals, and what a government that is going to be.
If you want to understand what kind of a government it’s going to be, what you ought to do is study Hitler. Hitler is probably the closest to the Anti-Christ of any person who has ever arrived on the scene. Anti-Christ will be much like Hitler because, you see, Hitler was involved in the New Age Movement. Hitler was an occultist. Two books have been written about this with meticulous research. Hitler was an occultist, who early in his life, attended séances and got involved in the occult. Many people see the swastika that the New Age Movement uses, and they think they got it from Hitler. No, Hitler got it from ancient Hinduism. The swastika is on many ancient temples in the land of India. It is a Hindu symbol. And so Hitler took it from them.
Hitler had communication with wicked spirits. He called them unknown superiors who sometimes terrorized him, and Hitler said to one of his cronies whose name was Rauschning, “I am founding an order. It is the man—god order. That splendid being will be an object of worship.” And then this man, Rauschning, who was a friend of Hitler’s, said these words and I quote, “One cannot help but to think of Hitler as a medium.” The medium is possessed. Beyond any doubt Hitler was possessed by forces outside of himself of which the individual named Hitler was only the temporary vehicle. And Hitler’s whole idea of an Aryan race, a superior race, derived from the caste system of Hinduism where when you are born into a certain class you never get out of that class until you die, and then you come around again, hopefully in a better class. And that’s where the Antichrist is going to get his wisdom, his ability, his craft, and with a hypnotic effect he is going to rule the world. And what does the text say? “It was given to him to make war with the saints to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation…” as he rules. New messiah, a new religion, and a brand new government ruling the world.
Now, I know the question that you are asking is how far is this into the future? Is this something that’s going to happen in the next 200 years? Will it happen in the next 20 years? I want to be very careful what I say because sometimes preachers say that the coming of Christ is two years away, and then two years pass and Christ hasn’t come, and then we begin to lose faith in what preachers tell us. The Bible is very clear. We do not know the day, nor the hour when Jesus Christ returns. It could be 20 years, but I want to tell you something. If Christ doesn’t come in the next year or two, all that we know is that the same kinds of conditions that obtain today will have to obtain again because the world is ready.
Frankly, I would not be surprised if God is going to begin to wrap up history in the next couple of months. Why? Let me give you two reasons. First of all, because of the treaty which the United States is on the verge of signing with the Soviet Union. This is an incredible historic treaty. Toynbee, the great historian, said that no nation has ever made weapons that it hasn’t used. If those weapons are dismantled, so far as I know, it’ll be the first time in history when nations actually take weapons that could be used and dismantle them and take them down. That is an amazing treaty. And what is going to happen is the expectations and the hopes of the world are going to rise. People will say, “Oh, here is the United States and Russia. Cold war all these years. We were afraid of a nuclear holocaust, and finally these two guys are getting together and they are coming up with a treaty, and it’s the beginning of world peace.
Take your Bibles and turn, if you will, to the book of Thessalonians. Thessalonians is sometimes hard to find in Bibles, isn’t it? First Thessalonians, chapter 5. I don’t find these passages ahead of time so that I take time to find them to give you time to find them. Notice what it says. First Thessalonians 5:1: “Now as to the times and the epochs… For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not of darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief.”
The Bible predicts that before history is finally wrapped up the world will be basking in false peace, peace and safety. Finally, the nations of the world are laying down their armaments and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Ah! (Snaps) Then sudden destruction. The day of the Lord comes.
There’s a second reason, and that is the crash of the stock market, Black Monday. You know that in International Money Line, this was not predicted by a psychic, this was written in 1982. Just an economist who understands the economy. 1982. I want to emphasize that date. That’s a good number of years ago. This is what he wrote: “Reaganomics will fail. It’s just about over. The casino is still open, but the hour is late. We’re on the brink of disaster. After the financial panic, the economy will fall faster and farther than anyone now expects. The world is headed for an economic abyss, and there’s literally nothing that anyone can do to stop it. There never has been a more certain scenario.”
You see, my friend, the Bible says that when Antichrist comes the world will have one unified economic system. You cannot have that as long as we have a strong Wall Street. All the nations of the earth will refuse to give up their economy, their independence. They will say, “We will hang on to our own means, our own monetary policy. We will hang on to that as long as we possibly can, but we will only surrender it when the conditions of the world become absolutely unbearable, and then we’ll have to give up our individual sovereignties and submit to the larger power.
David Hunter has written a book on the end times based on the Bible. It’s a very interesting scenario, which I think could be very true. Here’s what could happen in the next couple of months. Actually it could begin this afternoon. The Bible says that Jesus is going to return to this earth and take all of the believers, the born again Christians, with Him. They will disappear in a moment of time. “Behold, I tell you a mystery;” Paul says. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
A whole generation of Christians will not go through death. They will instantly, in a twinkling of an eye, be changed and be brought into the presence of Christ. Now, my friend, you think of what an impact that would have upon the governments of the world. Some countries would not be largely affected, but the United States certainly would be. Suddenly there are some people who are involved in the White House and they disappear. Planes crash, cars have accidents on the expressways! Nobody knows where the drivers are. Suddenly they’re all gone. Wall Street shuts down. Why? Because there are people involved in finance that have disappeared. And now their relatives are claiming the money that has been left. And so all of Wall Street gets shut down. It makes 1929 look as if it was a bullish day. And what you have happen is in the panic they are trying to sort everything out. What do the atheists say about the disappearance? The atheists say, “Well, if only we understood nature better, we’d know that there was a natural explanation for this.” What do the New Agers say? They say, “Well you know, the universe is a cosmic hole. Earth is a living organism and it has just purged some of its cells that are standing in the way of progress. They’ve been sucked up by some black hole.”
After the nations of the earth overcome the shock, will anybody remember the Bible, by the way? No. The Bible says, “God will send them strong delusion that they might believe a lie.” Nobody will remember what the Bible said.
What will take place? Governments of the world will say, Look, you know, we are having an incredible phenomenon to account for. We are having economic problems. We had better recognize that it is time to bring about one global village and make of this world one financial network, and people will be willing to give up some basic rights for strong dictatorial leadership that will lead them out of the chaos that they are in. And then Antichrist emerges, speaking great things and blasphemies against God. And people believe him because he has that same hypnotic effect over the whole world. He’s plugged directly into Satan. He is Satan incarnate. And what does the text say? “Every tribe and every nation and every country will worship him.” And they say to those who don’t want to worship him, “Why aren’t you getting ono the bandwagon? Don’t you see that this man is the answer to our economic ills?” Because after the church is resurrected there will some Jews, particularly, who at that time sovereignly recognize Jesus to be the Christ, and they will be saved.
And so there’s going to be a period then of peace, and Antichrist is going to rule and unless you have the stamp in your forehead or on your arm, you will not be able to buy and sell. He will make war with everyone who disagrees with him, and the Scripture says he will overcome them. Incredible power!
And then, of course, having signed a peace treaty with Israel at the beginning of that seven-year period, he breaks it in the middle of the seven-year period as Daniel says, and suddenly God begins to do something that is unique. God begins to rain judgment upon the whole world. This judgment is going to be so severe, my friend, it will make the holocaust look like a
B-grade western movie. That’s how severe it’s going to be, because you see the holocaust was man fighting man. Now suddenly God comes on the scene.
If you read the book of Revelation you find that there are seven judgments called seals. There are seven judgments called vials. There are seven trumpets that bring judgment, one after another, after another, after another. For example, it says, “I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, even as the fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places… And the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains… and every bondman and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
I want to ask you a question. Will people finally repent? Will they say, “Oh God, we were wrong to get into pantheism. We were wrong to trust in crystals.” They Bible says they will not.
Look at Revelation, chapter 9. After all the judgment that has been heaped upon this awful world, plague, after plague, after plague, after plague, Revelation 9:20 says, “And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the work of their hands, so as not to worship demons (You still have channelers getting in touch with entities. You still have prophetesses finding ascended masters.), and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”
Amazing! What a tribute to the hardness of the human heart. But don’t be surprised, because there may even be some of you here today who have never received Christ as Savior, and even after a message like this, you still go your way and say, “I’ll think about it.”
Now what is going to happen then, of course, after all of this tribulation, Jesus comes on the scene. The Bible says in Matthew 24, “As the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” It says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light” and the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man coming in glory. And He is going to stand beside Maitreya and guess who’s gonna be taller?
It says that He shall come “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” And Jesus Christ shall be seated upon the throne. And all nations and all kingdoms and all peoples and all false messiahs shall be brought before Him, and He shall judge them. The beast and the false prophet, it says in the book of Revelations, shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, and after the Great White Throne Judgment all the people who followed the beast and the prophet will be brought up before God to be judged, and it says they shall be thrown into the Lake of Fire “where the beast and the false prophet are, and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever,” and thus endeth the New Age.
What about believers? Oh, what a different picture, what a different picture. John says, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image… and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
After all those awful plagues in the book of Revelation, it says, “Hallelujah, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” King of kings, and Lord of lords forever and ever and ever and ever and ever! And we will reign with Him. And it all has to do with what you do with Christ, the Savior, whether you believe on Him or snub Him by your indifference. That’s the issue. That’s the issue.
Shall we pray?
Father, we are reminded of the words of Peter who said in light of the fact that all these things will be destroyed what manner of people ought we to be? Help us to know, Lord, the times and the seasons, and that it is close. And for those who do not know You as Savior, we ask, Lord, that in this moment they might cry up to You and be saved, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.