Notes on Subjects of Prophecy

The League of Nations, Antichrist and Christ

Viscount Cecil said some time ago that if the League of Nations failed to maintain the peace of the world and make the nations of the earth dwell together in harmony he would lose all hope in humanity: the League of Nations was his last hope. He is not alone in this view of things, he shares it with those idealists and sentimentalists who have not yet learnt that Romans 3:10-18 is the only true estimate of man — man as God sees him, and that he cannot rise above himself. If the League of Nations is the only hope, then the case is indeed hopeless, for men can do nothing better for themselves than they have done; worse they will do, for the trend of things is not from good to better as the evolutionists teach, but from bad to worse, as the Word of God teaches. We do not deny that the League of Nations did promise and still promises much, and that earnest and sincere men look for its final success; in this respect it is like the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6, which it possibly is — Crowned with the hopes of the people, and issuing its mandates for the rule of nations afar off, and so bringing them under its authority, for a while. This latter idea seems to lie in the bow in the hand of the rider, with which he goes forth conquering and to conquer. But that white horse soon disappears from view to be succeeded in the field of vision by a red horse and his rider, who will take peace, which the League of Nations exists to maintain, from the earth. It is anarchy and destruction. It will be a successful "international" which will largely obliterate national distinction for the time, a Bolshevic flood that will overwhelm Europe at least. And when the existing order of things is overturned by this madness, what shall take its place? Not a millennium for the proletariat, but the black horse and its rider, a widespread famine, which will fall with great severity upon the people, and then the pale horse and its rider — Death. And death will not sweep across the field alone, for Hell will ride victoriously with him to claim the souls of the slain. Revelation 6 shatters all hope in the League of Nations which gives neither God nor Christ any place.

But out of all this awful carnage and destruction a real League of Nations will emerge, whose one purpose will be to fight against the Lamb, who is the King of kings. This League will be composed of ten kingdoms, not yet defined, whose kings when they do appear shall have one mind and shall give their power to the Beast (Rev. 17:12-13): a tyrannical autocrat, who will revive the Roman empire, claim to be God, laugh at the rights of men and impose his will upon the world. He will be inspired and empowered by the devil, and supported in his claim to deity and universal power by Antichrist, who is the false prophet (Rev. 13).

These three — the dragon, which is the devil, the beast, and the false prophet — will form a terrible trinity of evil; they are brought together in the unity of their purpose in Revelation 16:13-14, and that purpose — war. The present League of Nations, which is a mere shadow, is for peace, the real League of Nations when it appears will be for war. The evil spirits that go out of the mouths of the diabolical trinity are deceptive and inflammatory words and doctrines. And in the conception and broadcasting of these, Antichrist will take the lead. He will be the great deceiver and will probably tell men that the only road to the goal of their ambitions is to blot out God and Christ and that they are able to do it, and aroused by his arrogant and lying words (2 Thess. 2), the cry will be: "Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears" (Joel 3:9-10).

That is the only end to which man under his chosen leader and seduced by Antichrist will bring his world, a world blinded and dominated by the devil, and in which every evil principle of falsehood and murder, corruption and violence, will be fully developed, for the devil is the father of these, and he is the god of the world. What a world it will be in that coming day of wrath! Blessed indeed are all those who believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, know Him as the One who will deliver them from that wrath to come by taking them out of it before Antichrist is manifested (1 Thess. 4; 2 Thess. 2).

But the devil will not have the last word about the world, for the Lamb, who is the King of kings, shall speak; out of His mouth shall go a sharp sword, with which He shall smite the devil-deceived nations (Rev. 19:15). This will be the word of judgment, for He alone is Judge. Then the word of peace shall go forth: for the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem, "And they shalt beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and they shall learn war no more" (Isa. 2:3-4). What a contrast between the word and work of Antichrist who speaks for the devil, and the word and work of Christ who speaks for God!

It is to bring out this contrast that we call attention to the subject. Christ came in lowliness and grace, not to exalt Himself at the expense of others as Antichrist will, but to sacrifice Himself for the good of men, to give His life a ransom for many. His words were not words of deception and death, but were spirit and life (John 6:63) and in Him God was preaching peace to men. And in Him we have peace, and in a world of unrest that can know peace no more until Christ comes, we can be undisturbed, looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.