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Time To Look At Your Watch
by Dusty Peterson, 2007
Our Lord declared, “[W]hat I say unto you I say unto all,
Watch.” Is our watch telling
the right time? Or have some
of us stopped watching altogether? Certain
folks believe that Christians shouldn’t bother watching the world’s
slide towards accepting the antichrist.
They argue that such an activity is unhealthy because it can
become obsessive. They also
contend that it takes our eyes off the true Christ.
Finally they claim it is pointless anyway and is therefore a
waste of valuable time. These
are serious charges which deserve proper consideration.
Hopefully the following will be of use in this regard.
CAN BE OBSESSIVE
An investigation into the different tentacles of the New World Order can
certainly lead some people to become obsessed with studying the topic.
However, it doesn’t follow from this that we should all ignore
the topic. Many other
activities can become obsessive, but this does not mean all study of
such things is intrinsically wrong.
As Bayith Ministries recently pointed out in another context,
“If we take the argument to its logical conclusion, we end up with a
very peculiar situation. For
example, since some people develop an obsession about keeping fit or
eating healthily, does this mean it is wrong for us to encourage
exercise or a sensible diet? Any
truth can become an obsession with people, but that’s no excuse for
concealing it.” In rightly
seeking to avoid one extreme, let’s not end up at the other.
TAKES OUR EYES OFF CHRIST?
There seem to be four progressive levels of argument made here:
(1) We may initially be told that,
since we should always focus on Christ, any activity which doesn’t
focus on Him must be wrong.
It is absolutely true that our focus should always be on Christ.
But many other activities are compatible with that.
Does learning to play the guitar necessarily take our eyes off
Christ? Does changing a
baby’s nappy take our eyes off Christ?
Or feeding one’s family? Or
applying one’s self in a secular job?
Clearly we should be wary of sweeping statements on this matter.
(2) The next stage is to argue that
Again, it is undeniable that the world is at enmity with God and that God
calls us to be holy and to be distinct from the world (2 Cor.
But again we need to be balanced.
Many non-evangelistic activities involve us associating with the
world. Every time we shop in
a store owned by a non-Christian we are interacting with the world.
Every time we obtain any service from an unbeliever (e.g. a
plumber, a waiter, or an air stewardess) we need to connect with the
world. None of this is
automatically improper, so neither is it automatically improper to watch
the political machinations going on in the world.
Again, the Lord Jesus should be our focus, but that doesn’t mean we
should be “ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Cor.
The Bible contains whole chapters about the enemy and/or his
false church (e.g. Rev. 13 & 17), yet the Bible obviously never
stops focusing on Christ. At
its core, the New World Order is a spiritual issue.
The proper study of any
spiritual issue will point us to Christ.
(3) The third stage is to argue that
the Apostle Paul never concerned himself with the affairs of the world
and therefore neither should we.
On the face of it, this seems conclusive.
But in fact there are several major problems with this line of
reasoning. Firstly, Paul
isn’t our only example in Scripture.
In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John wrote extensively
about the world and about Satan’s efforts to control its citizens.
Secondly, Paul did indeed concern himself with the world, else he
never would have penned 2 Thess. 2:3-12.
(Christopher Wordsworth's superb booklet, entitled Is The Papacy Predicted by St. Paul?, goes into this point much more
Thirdly, the institution at the heart of the New World Order claims to be Christian,
and Paul was more than happy to warn of people who falsely claimed to be
Next, the whole point about the antichrist is that he will set
himself ‘in the place of Christ’
and pretend to be Christ.
Again, anyone familiar with Paul's writings will know that, had
he been alive to witness it, he would have had no qualms about exposing
this man and his activities.
Finally, Paul commanded us to pray for good governance, yet people
seemingly then try to tell us we shouldn't take any notice of the
governance we receive!
(4) The last stage is to argue that
some limited study may be
acceptable, but it should certainly not take up a serious amount of
There is a truth in this of course. Every
Christian needs to concentrate on becoming more Christlike. Everything
else will flow from this, including true (i.e. Spirit-led) evangelism.
If God is not calling a person to undertake a particular
activity, they should not try to perform it in their own strength.
But does this really mean that no Christian should ever do
serious study into the New World Order?
The Body of Christ is meant to act like a body, where everyone
performs their God-given function to complement the whole.
If no-one ever did any serious study, where would that leave the
rest of the Body?
God gives each Christian a specific ministry (i.e. a burden on their heart
to serve the Kingdom of God in one way or another) in order to encourage
each of us to abide in Christ more and more – for otherwise we will
merely generate wood, hay and stubble instead of producing lasting fruit
and fulfilling the burden He has given us.
Just as pursuing a course in computer studies or foreign
languages for a season can be entirely compatible with pursuing Christ,
so can investigating the organizations behind the New World Order for a
season (especially if one has been given a discernment ministry).
The suggestion that there is no value in watching, or being aware of, the
New World Order and its developments is very mistaken.
Here are just some of the responses one can make to such a
charge. (Note that several
of these benefits are of direct help in evangelism.)
As the Lord plainly
stated in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, such study helps us to
recognize the times we are in and how close we are to the end.
Such study also gives
us valuable guidance about things that have the sanction of New World
Order groups. For instance,
it helps us to avoid contributing to, or otherwise entangling ourselves
in, certain organizations or activities promoted by those groups.
It helps us to
understand political and other developments around us, and therefore
enables us to pray more intelligently.
We should be prepared to be informed about the broad brush things
going on in the world so that we can pray knowledgeably rather than
waste time praying for things that are actually tools of the enemy that
are beyond hope.
It means we can better
make sense of the world, which helps us to have an inner peace rather
than confusion. If we are
asked about some political development, or the meaning of some event, it
is better to be able to explain the spiritual dimension behind the issue
than just to look blankly at the other person.
It helps us to see our
redemption drawing nigh, which enables us to enjoy greater hope.
In turbulent times, this will stir and convict unbelievers around
Such study also helps
Far from wasting our time and taking us away from Christ, godly study of this whole matter will actually lead us into the arms of God more than ever. “[T]he end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Pet. 4:7).