The course of human history has been largely shaped by revolutions and warfare. The Bible warns us that in the end-time, revolutions and wars will be widespread: "You will hear of wars and rumours of wars... For nation will rise against nation" (Matt. 24:6-7). Many of the nations will reject the ideologies, religions and policies of other nations and try to destroy them. At a certain stage the Antichrist will appear on the scene and unite the restless nations behind the ultimate revolutionary cause of fighting against the Triune God of the Bible. They will besiege Jerusalem in their satanic quest to dethrone and kill the true Christ when He sets foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2-4; 12-13; Rev. 19:19-21). These nations will be instigated by demons to join forces and revolt against the kingdom of God (Rev. 16:13-16).
Let us investigate the phenomenon of revolutions more closely to appreciate its significance in perpetrating evil. Revolutions have always been used by dissatisfied, power-hungry groups and nations to overthrow opposing governments. Let us shortly review the nature of revolutions, as well as the major objectives that their perpetrators pursue.
A revolution is a form of rebellion against the prevailing authorities and order in a country or community, and is aimed at quick and violent changes. It is the opposite of slow, peaceful, evolutionary changes. A revolution may be ideologically, religiously, politically, socially or economically driven, or it may be motivated by a combination of these factors. Since the objective of a revolution is the overthrow of existing systems, practices and traditions in society, it is usually characterised by illegal, provocative and contemptuous actions. It is always in revolt against structures of authority in society, or in other countries, as these structures are seen to be responsible for upholding the conditions which are rejected by the supporters of the revolution.
The perpetrators of a revolution are intent on promoting anarchy to discredit and bring down the existing authority and its policies. The more violent and shocking their methods, the sooner the old order and its supporting ideas will crumble. From the ruins of destruction a new order must arise which will comply with the demands of the revolutionary leaders.
When a revolution is not well organised because of a weak ideological base and poor logistical and social support, it can easily be suppressed by the authorities that are the custodians of the existing order. But when a revolution is well organised with a large support base, it can even prevail against strong opposition and thus achieve its objective of far-reaching revolutionary changes n society.
There have been various big revolutions in the world, through which the course of history was radically changed. The following are the major ones:
- The early Islamic revolution. During the ten years between 622 and 632 AD, Mohammed’s armies waged a bloody revolution against the polytheistic Arabs and established the Islamic faith in the Arabian Peninsula by violent means. After Mohammed's death, his successors continued with these conquests and by 650 AD the Islamic revolution has subjected Egypt, large parts of North Africa, Israel, Syria and Persia to the new faith. Islamic Moors from North Africa conquered Spain in 711 AD and ruled this country until 1492.
- The Medieval Islamic revolution. Islam’s revolution continued for many centuries from a number of different fronts. During this time, large parts of India and Indonesia came under the domination of the Koran, as well as Turkey, where the mighty Ottoman Empire was established. The westerly march of Islam by the armies of the Ottoman Empire was only halted at Vienna in Central Europe in 1683.
- The French revolution. Between 1789 and 1799, French peasants staged a successful revolution against the absolute monarchy, feudalism and poverty. It also coincided with strong antichristian convictions and thus laid the foundation for socialism and secular humanism.
- The Nazi revolution. The promotion of the idea of a German super race that was strongly anti-Jewish and antichristian was the foundation of Hitler’s Nazi party. In 1933, they gained control over the government, and a few years later this revolutionary ideology was the driving force behind Hitler's plans to subject the entire world to his authority in Word War II. Nazi Germany collapsed in 1945, but not before 52 million people died in the war, including six million Jews who were killed in the most gruesome ways.
- The communist revolution. In 1917, a successful communist revolution led to the dethroning of the Tsar and the control of the Soviet Union. Socialist and antichristian reforms were instituted by the gross abuse of power, and it continued for 71 years until the collapse of communist rule in the USSR in 1988. Various other countries and their governments also succumbed to the violence and intimidation of communist revolutions, including China, which still has a communist dictatorship. Many of the Third World countries experienced revolutionary, Marxist-type liberation struggles.
- The present Islamic revolution. The vast oil riches of many Arab states as well as Islamic nations such as Iran have, during the past few decades, given rise to a great resurgence of the Islamic revolution, which is aimed at subjecting the whole world to the authority of Allah. The establishment of the modern Jewish state in 1948 was a catalyst for the present big revolution, or jihad. By way of Islamic propaganda, as well as forced immigration from neighbouring Arab states, a Palestinian people was artificially formed to oppose Israel and to try and drive them from their land. Yasser Arafat himself was an immigrant from Egypt, and he also incorporated many Jordanians to his “Palestinian people.” All the Arab nations support the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel, but they were defeated and humiliated in the wars that they fought against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982. This led to an escalating campaign of hatred against Israel – also against the United States and Britain for their support to Israel. What started as a local struggle between Israel and its neighbours has escalated into a global struggle between Islam and all non-Muslims.
The modern jihad
The ideological drive behind the campaign of terror against Israel, America and their allies is clearly derived from the Muslim faith. This religion generates strong revolutionary, anti-capitalist, antichristian and, especially, anti-Jewish sentiments. In his book, “Muslim Society” (1983), Prof. E. Gellner says: “It is evident that Islam enjoys the biggest political support of all the world’s religions during the 20th century. It supports a number of governments which are highly traditional and conservative, but it is also able to generate intense revolutionary fervour and to combine with extreme radicalism. As a means for political mobilisation Islam has surpassed Marxism, as well as all other religions.”
Islam is clearly not always a religion of peace. Sura 5:56 says: “O, Believers, do not make peace with either the Jews or the Christians. They are only friends of each other. If any of you becomes their friend, you will become like them! Allah will not lead evildoers” (cf. Sura 9:5).
The Islamic jihad has two objectives. The one is the demolition of “evil” governments in Islamic states as they are seen to be only Islamic in name. It is regarded as a religious duty to bring them down and replace them with fundamentalist Islamic governments. The other objective is to fight against non-Islamic states – particularly the USA and its allies. Israel is singled out as an important target as this country is regarded to be a vanguard for American imperialism in the midst of the Islamic world to cause divisions and enmity.
The idea of martyrdom in the jihad which is waged on behalf of Allah is an inherent part of the struggle. It is viewed as the highest form of self-denial to die as a martyr (shahid). Everyone who is prepared to die as a shahid in a suicide bomb attack is highly praised. The Koran promises a special reward in paradise to martyrs. That includes entering paradise without the torment of the grave, as well as the privilege to secure entrance to paradise for 70 friends or family members of the martyr. In this way, people are induced to sacrifice their lives in support of a dishonourable, revolutionary cause.
There are various radical groups that are fanning the flames of an Islamic revolution. The following is just one example of them. Scott Shiloh (Arutz Sheva, November 16, 2005) says:
"Islamic radicals have been using the Temple Mount as a focal point for planning and preaching the establishment of a world Islamic state with Jerusalem as its capital. One of the radical groups operating on the Temple Mount is Hizab Altahrir (The Islamic Liberation Party), which espouses an ideology similar to Al Qaeda. Hizab Altahrir’s network spans most Western European countries. The party puts Islamic revolution and an uncompromising form of Jihad at the top of its political agenda. The group advocates subjecting the entire world to Islamic law (Shariya), and destroying non-believing nations and religions. The party has targeted Europe for spreading its ideology...
"Sheikh Riyad Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel has also been active teaching the tenets of Islamic revolution. 'We are at the gates of the Islamic revolution,' he proclaims in his sermons to Arab citizens of Israel. 'The global forces of evil will be eliminated from the world and the Islamic nation will remain in place in order to bring about the world Islamic revolution, with its capital, Jerusalem'... Salah’s organization contributed to efforts to repair Arab mosques on the Temple Mount, and also attempts to erase the remains of Jewish antiquities on the Mount... Thousands of young Arabs living in the Palestinian territories have been participating in the party’s youth movement under the slogan, 'Campaigning to Preach Revolution.' On the Temple Mount near the Dome of the Rock, Altahrir’s youth recently put up a giant banner declaring 'Revolution is a Divine Command.' The youth were greeted by party members who shouted, 'Next year in Jerusalem, under the rule of the Islamic revolution'."
A revolution against God
It is to be emphasised that in the area of revolutionary ideas and movements radical Islam is not the biggest and most serious problem of our times. Although not yet violent in nature as an armed struggle, there is a much greater revolution than the Islamic jihad which, and that is a revolution against the supremacy, laws and authority of God in the world. An antichristian new world order is gaining momentum, in which faith in the Triune God is denied while the young generation is, in an unscrupulous way, exposed to spiritual deception. This revolution is evident in the following areas:
- In the traditional Christian world, the supremacy of God is no longer recognised in the constitutions of Western countries since former Christian nations have exalted themselves to become the masters of their own destiny. Modern humanity sees itself as completely free and not in the least subject to God’s laws and ordinances.
- God is no longer honoured as Creator as modern man prefers to see himself as the product of evolutionary development spanning millions of years. He would rather accept a chimpanzee as ancestor than tracing his descent from Adam.
- The atoning death and mediation of Jesus Christ is no longer recognised since Christianity has been placed on an equal footing with the non-Christian religions. In many cases Christianity is even regarded and treated as inferior to the other religions.
- The Bible is not honoured as the inerrant Word of God; consequently, the basis for Christian morality and Christian education has been explicitly rejected. It has been substituted for humanistic liberties, leading to the condoning of sins such as homosexuality, abortion, violence, lying, corruption, and occult practices.
- Modern humanity do not accept any accountability to God for their deeds, and completely reject the idea that God will punish unbelievers. There are many backslidden churches that support the spiritually blinded people in their evil cause.
The Lord Jesus Christ has, in recent times, not only been thrown out of constitutions, educational systems and other structures of public life, but also from calendars. Most countries are now abandoning their Christian chronology in which dates are expressed in terms of years before or after Christ (BC and AD). The argument is advanced that this practice is offending to members of non-Christian religions. They now refer to the number of years before present (BP) and to the Christian era as the Common Era (CE). 1000 years BC is now be expressed as 3005 BP or as 1000 BCE. In this way, the One who has not only created the world but who is the only hope of lost humanity, is denied His influence and position in the world. Christianity is repeating the same mistake as the one made by the Jews after the first coming of Jesus Christ: He is “the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name” (John 1:9-12). But now He is denied in the traditional Christian world.
The revolution against the Triune God and His Word is rapidly increasing in intensity and extent, and will shortly, also on international forums, lead to the explicit rejection of the God of the Bible: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us” (Ps. 2:2-3). This is the most evil and dangerous revolutionary statement that human beings can make. According to Psalm 11:3, they will take action and destroy the foundations of the Christian civilisation. This revolution will, therefore, become violent and also lead to the persecution of Christians (Rev. 6:9-11; 17:6; 20:4). Ultimately, blinded humanity will be so completely possessed by a demonic spirit of revolution against Christ (the Anointed of God) that they will join the Antichrist in his march on Jerusalem to fight against Jesus Christ when He returns to earth after the tribulation period of seven years to judge the rebellious nations (Rev. 16:13-14; 19:19; Matt. 24:29-30).
Marching on a weakened enemy
While the Western world is becoming morally and spiritually more depraved because of its revolution against God, and is losing its motivation to maintain positive values, it becomes easier for other revolutionaries in society to exploit this weakened position and sow chaos. Even Israel with their military strength and will to survive are spiritually and morally weak because, as a nation, they still reject the Messiah. They are with their backs against the wall and their leaders are now giving away parts of their land to the enemy in a futile effort to buy peace. In the process, Islam increasingly entrenches itself in Israel. This march to victory also occurs in other parts of the world.
In her book “Eurabia” the historian Bat Ye’or says the Christian character of Europe is rapidly disappearing to make room for an Arabian Muslim culture – hence the reference to the Europe of the future as Eurabia. She says that the cultural abdication and reconciliation with Islam has started in Europe 30 years ago with a view to securing short-term political and economic gains. She says: “Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilisation with important secular elements, to Eurabia: a secular-Muslim transitional society with its traditional Judeo-Christian principles rapidly disappearing.”
The proposed constitution of the European Union (EU) is a secular document with no reference to God or to Europe’s Christian tradition. The Islamic state, Turkey, is presently negotiating its application to join the EU and has expressed its satisfaction with the absence of any Christian values in the document. That opens the way to Muslim states to become full members of the EU as all religions are, by implication, equally treated. The EU also seriously considers allowing oil producing Arab states as members in order to support its economic interests.
In a front-page article, “Militants in Europe openly demand a jihad for the establishment of Islamic control,” the New York Times reviewed the expansion of Islam in Europe. It was indicated that this faith is well established in Britain, France and Germany, and that it is also penetrating countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland. A Muslim cleric (imam) in Europe was quoted as saying: “Apply the will of Islam to the apostate communities of the West.”
The recent riots that broke out in France were virtually limited to Muslim neighbourhoods, and although the grievances of the youths were social and economic in nature (unemployment, poverty and poor integration into French society) their revolutionary actions were fanned by Islamic propaganda. The Islamic youths from North Africa and countries in the Middle East have set fire to buildings in five French cities. A number of buses and more than a 1000 cars were destroyed. The prime weapon of the rioters was fire-bombs, referred to as Molotov cocktails.
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, thinks the riots in France are a microcosm of the larger radical Islamic goal of gaining a solid foothold in Europe. The riots in France have already spread to Germany where there are also many Muslim immigrants, especially Turks. There are also large Muslim populations in England, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Armed or stone-throwing gangs regularly attack the police in Denmark and Sweden when Islamic dominated residential areas are patrolled. The Dutch government has identified 15 Muslim terrorist groups that plan to punish the Netherlands because of their peacekeeping force in Iraq.
In Australia there is a similar build-up of revolutionary powers. On Saturday 5 November 05, an inflammatory pamphlet was distributed at a major Islamic festival in Melbourne. It says: “Muslims had enormously rejected their evil and corrupt rulers that the West has appointed over them, and that they are looking forward to consigning them to the dustbins of history.” The pamphlet also says that Muslims overseas had heroically resisted invasions and inflicted the most humiliating lesson on supposed superpowers.
But the most explosive situation still prevails in the Middle East. On the last Friday of Ramadan, the president of Iran made a call that Israel should be wiped off the map. He is the third president of revolutionary Iran since the Ayatollah Khomeini to suggest the total destruction of the Jewish state. In the meantime, Iran is further developing its nuclear technology, which means that they will shortly have the ability to execute their threats. They are also fanatically opposed to the USA and Britain.
The world is in a terrible state. The use of violence is a vicious circle which always leads to more violence. Ultimately, the perpetrators of violence become the victims of violence themselves. The Bible says: “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword” (Rev. 13:10). If the rebellious nations of the world think that they can rise against God by openly rejecting His authority in their countries, they shouldn’t be surprised if God surrenders them to revolutionary groups that will do the same with them. That is exactly what is happening now.
The weak-willed, unprincipled and liberal governments of the West do not have the conviction or determination to ensure the purity of their nations or to contain radical ethnic and religious movements. They first have to get their own house in order to be able, from a position of power and cultural unity, to offer meaningful resistance against the serious threats to their nations. If they have already abandoned their national consciousness and patriotism together with their former Christian faith, they have divided kingdoms which are built on sand. In that case their chances are slim to survive the Islamic tsunami from the East and to remain intact.
The revolutions of the past and present had devastating effects on the nations of the world, so the chances are slim that they will adopt a biblical cultural and religious orientation. Many nations, particularly in the Middle East, were fundamentally changed by Islamic revolutions, to the extent of being unable to think in another paradigm – they all have a deeply-rooted aversion to Christianity and Judaism. In the former and present communist world the religious sense of people was virtually destroyed by Marxist revolutions. In the West, the French revolution with its credo of freedom, equality and brotherhood has played a big role to “liberate” people from bonds of culture and religion. Materialism and secular humanism followed, which are equally opposed to true religion. The Nazis also rejected a biblical religion. Mystical religions in the East contributed largely to the suppression of rational thinking among people. All revolutions in the world were also waged against God, His Word, His authority and His plan for the nations. They want to break His bonds so they can establish a new world order in which all people will, according to Revelation 13:3-4, be free to do as they please – even to worship the devil and the Antichrist. Anarchy and apostasy are the final objectives of all revolutions. For this situation to prevail they commit themselves towards overthrowing the supreme authority of God, His Son, His Holy Spirit and His Word.
The main instigator
It is evident from the Bible that the devil is the master brain behind all forms of deception and the chief instigator of those who perpetrate revolutions against God. He deceived our first parents in the Garden of Eden to act against God's clear instructions by sowing the seeds of disobedience and rebellion in their hearts. Adam and Eve yielded to the devil's temptations and thus became sinful people who were spiritually darkened in their minds and morally perverted. Their sinful nature was inherited by all their descendants (Rom. 5:12), which accounts for the fact that all human beings are born as sinners with a natural propensity towards evil.
There is only one truly effective and lasting solution to the problem of sin, religious lies and rebellion against God, and that is the righteous nature which only the second Adam, Jesus Christ, can impute to repentant sinners: "For if by one man's offence death reigned through the one [Adam], much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17; cf. Eph. 4:22-24).
As long as Jesus has not brought life and the light of His presence to a person's heart, death and darkness reigns. Only the gospel message can change the hearts and lives of sinners. All the spiritually deceived nations of the world, from whatever religious persuasion, political ideology or economic standing, will join forces in the emerging antichristian new world order to fight against Jesus Christ. Whether they are deceived, nominal Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, ancestor worshippers, atheists, Nazis, Communists, capitalists, secular humanists or whatever, by rejecting and fighting Jesus Christ they are sworn enemies of God. Their united action against the Triune God constitutes the ultimate world revolution.
It is tragic that world leaders have become so blinded that they think revolutions, which all have a strong dimension of religious revolt against God, can be contained by military means, political propaganda and the wealth that capitalism can bring. The fact is that the richest oil-producing country in the world, Saudi Arabia, is also the prime financier of Islamic propaganda in the West. So, by making their enemies rich and supplying sophisticated technology to them, the West is selling the rope with which it will soon be hanged.
Except for a few individuals, the West has all but lost its former Christian commitment. Lawlessness is now abounding, causing the love of many to grow cold (Matt. 24:12). The end result of this falling away is a general departing from the true faith (1 Tim. 4:1) which accounts for the emerging nominal Christianity of the 21st century. Nominal "Christians" have no clear testimony of salvation, no commitment to sanctification, no respect for Jesus Christ and no allegiance to Christian norms and values. They have deviated from the truth so far that they are actually in rebellion against God.
The arrogance and selfishness of modern humanity is a fertile breeding-ground for rebellion against all ideologies, religions and value-systems that do not suit them. The more man-centred (humanistic) the world gets, the more is the likelihood of modern revolutions in which violence is freely used to achieve people's selfish objectives (Jas. 4:1). Blessed are those who realise that there is a divine way of spiritual victory in Jesus Christ which soars high above the sick and problem-ridden world of our day.