Is our world ripe for the ultimate megalomaniac?
Nathan Jones: It appears that the United States and several other countries that historically have called themselves democracies are as of late been longing for a stronger and stronger leader, not a president, but more like a king. And, those leaders who do already rule countries with almost absolute authority are not really qualified to take these ultimate positions because they inevitably end up falling into megalomania.
For example, Russia’s Vladamir Putin started off as his nation’s president, but then eventually became a dictator for life. Now he sees himself as an emissary for God with a divine calling to reunite Russian and Ukrainian Orthodoxy. The end step in the path towards megalomania usually is to declare oneself as a god or even the God. We see this pattern throughout history. These leaders may start off with the right idea in serving their nation, but soon the power goes to their heads and they quickly begin demanding that the nation instead serve themselves.
Tim Moore: There are many examples of such political leaders throughout history. Megalomania is almost the default tendency of mankind. Remember Nimrod who was a great leader back in his day. We learned that he and his descendants tried to create the Tower of Babel. Over and over again in Scripture, we are presented by leaders who set themselves up against God’s divine leadership by trying to create their own pagan empires surrounding Israel.
And, in recent years, we’ve been given a number of examples of leaders who exhibit megalomania. Just in this last century, we’ve had Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao. The Premier in China right now, Mr. Xi, is obviously heading in the same direction. Throughout human history, there’s been Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. Napoleon was such a megalomaniac that he didn’t even deem anybody else worthy of crowning him, so he crowned himself as the emperor of France! Even during the pandemic, many leaders began heartily embracing this authoritarian concept, who ought to have known better.
Megalomaniacs are often portrayed in science fiction. Just look back at Dr. Moreau who was written by H.G. Wells. Moreau had his own island which he ruled with absolute authority. Captain Nemo, to a degree, ruled as captain of his submarine. Then there are television and movies, with characters such as Count Carlos Maria Vincenzo Manzeppi from The Wild Wild West who wanted to rule the world. There are characters like Khan in Star Trek. These characters were written as megalomaniacs.
But, now, we have real people who are no better than these fictional megalomaniacs. Supporters of a new era of kings are actually suggesting that we need a single great leader — such as the Führer of Nazi Germany — to embrace worldwide. It’s hoped that this messianic figure will lead the nations out of our economic woes. I believe this tide is setting the world up for the prophesied Antichrist.
Nathan Jones: The Bible prophesied that in the end times the Roman Empire will revive and rise again. What’s interesting is that for hundreds of years the Roman Empire started off as a republic. They had representative senators and some citizens could vote, if they came from a certain position. Shockingly enough, the Romans traded their republic in for an emperor. Why? Because Caesar could get things done.
That’s why I think we’re seeing this emphatic push for a global government. Our societies have grown to include so many people, and the politics have gotten so complex and so gridlocked, especially in times of disasters like when COVID came through. During that time, we heard WHO say we needed a global government to best manage natural disasters, which are currently happening all over the world. And, we read in the Bible that natural disasters will increase in frequency and intensity as the Lord’s return draws near. We’re tired of all of the bureaucracy and long for a just ruler who can easily cut through the red tape.
When it comes to a global government, I believe based on Scripture that world leadership will first narrow down to a group of men, like kings, and then eventually out of this group of ten men one will rise who will become the prophesied Antichrist. Megalomania will inevitably set in, and he will demand the world to worship him.
Not even ten years ago, when I was talking with some friends about this scenario, we still didn’t see a call for global government. But, now that we’re past the Pandemic, it seems like there’s been a growing call for a global government.
Tim Moore: A lot of people are tired of the challenges in getting a decent law passed through our legislatures. Look at our own Congress — it’s completely gridlocked by two parties. Americans don’t want to wait for Congress to come up with solutions, or even to write laws, but rather for the Supreme Court to decide policies. We’ve been letting nine individuals decide what’s right and wrong in this nation for decades, whether it’s been Roe vs Wade and the legalization of abortion, which the Left wants, along with a whole host of other issues. We’ve been slowly giving power and authority to a much smaller governmental group.
Likewise, our presidents have begun making law by executive order, such as Biden attempting to erase hundreds of billions of dollars of student loan debt, even though the Executive branch doesn’t have that kind of authority, either according to the Constitution or by Biden’s own testimony. And yet, he’s attempting it because there would be no other way to get that kind of provision passed by Congress. So, people will embrace expanded government in the short term based on their selfish hope of getting what they see will directly benefit themselves.
Tim Moore: Jesus talked about selfish versus unselfish leadership when He taught:
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28 NKJV)
Notice Jesus teaches that whoever wishes to become great will be your servant. He’s contrasting the attitude that we as Christians should exhibit versus the pagans who are selfishly motivated. The rulers of the Gentiles or godless, lord their power over their people, and great men exercise authority over the weaker. This has always been the tendency of humanity — to seek out a powerful leader whom they can unify around them.
A Misguided Hope
Tim Moore: Westerners have historically looked down upon dictatorships. especially in the Middle East, where powerful religious leaders convince many of their people to follow them right off of a cliff. We think we’re smarter than that. We are going to be a republic that represents democratic values. And yet, as of late we’ve been allowing many of our leaders, not that they are great, but to exert great power over us even when they’ve been driving us to ruin.
Nathan Jones: Right. Manufactured disasters coupled the natural disasters have led the world to begin crying out for stronger, centralized leadership. We long for a messianic figure to step up and be the peacemaker. Well, the Bible prophesies in Daniel 9 and Revelation 6 and 13 that such a one-world ruler will indeed rise out of Europe and he will be hailed as a peacemaker. He will come promising to fix the looming global bankruptcy, which almost all economists are saying is coming right around the corner. He’ll supposedly even be able to stop the storms and fix the climate.
But, and this is a universal concept, absolute power corrupts absolutely. This coming global leader, whether he starts off already satanically inspired, will eventually be possessed by Satan at the midpoint of the Tribulation, and so the power will inevitably go to his head. By the middle of the coming seven-year Tribulation period, he will demand that the entire world worship him. The Antichrist will be the ultimate megalomaniac.
Tim Moore: He certainly will be. The Bible provides an example of the kind of raw power a potential world ruler can gain during a time of trouble. In Genesis, we learn of Joseph who advised Egypt’s Pharaoh how to overcome the devastating seven-year famine that he had dreamed beforehand would occur. Joseph advised Pharaoh how over time he could essentially gain control over his entire land and the surrounding nations. Pharaoh traded stored food for money, cattle, land, and eventually people until he owned everything and everyone. The people had been reduced to serfdom slaving for their Pharaoh in order to survive.
Likewise, our well-intentioned efforts to overcome disasters and to provide for our people in need can lead to the elimination of the freedoms that we have long enjoyed. Therefore, we shouldn’t look for a great human leader to come and “save” the human race, for his inevitable megalomania will lead the world into bondage. Rather, we instead should turn to the One who has already provided freedom from sin and death, and that’s the one true Messiah, Jesus Christ.