Several decades before Jesus arrived on the planet, the Romans were already talking about a “reset”. After all the centuries, mankind was still not happy with itself. Even with an Empire, there was still the human condition to deal with. Men still could not get along with each other. They kept dreaming of a time when all the earth’s wrongs would be made right.
Virgil was such a dreamer, a Roman poet who lived from 70 to 19 B.C. He is known to Latin students worldwide for his Aeneid, passages of which they would unhappily be asked to translate.
Another of Virgil’s works contains a passage that has been with us in America for all our history. In English it reads:
“Now is come the final era of the Sibyl’s song;
“The great order of the ages is born afresh.
“Now justice returns, return of Saturn’s reign;
“Now a lineage is sent down from high heaven.”
Many years later, the Christians of the Middle Ages would look at Virgil’s lines as a prophecy of Christ and His new “order of the ages”. The Kingdom of God. The Catholic church, perhaps.
And of course, it was not long after Virgil wrote, that the King of all Kings was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Why not let it refer to Him?
Virgil had hope that something good would come to the world’s system, something that would create an order of peace and beauty and all the rest.
Jesus must have disappointed the dreamers who followed Virgil. His idea of “world order” seemed to be something dealing with the hearts of men. Only the believing Jews to whom Christ appeared connected the inner kingdom to a visible one, foreseen by their prophets.
Yes, an external kingdom is still in our Book, but it has not yet appeared, and men have gone on fighting and hating one another. And searching for the perfect ordering of mankind.
Following pagan Rome came the efforts of Papal Rome to unite all around their version of Christ. This Rome kept God’s people from their own Scriptures and enforced an Empire-like rule on the people of those centuries that we now call the Dark Ages. The Golden Age they dreamed for lived only in the hearts of the elite, that group that the kingdoms of men always seem to produce.
Napoleon and Hitler and Stalin and Mao and all the other would-be order-makers of the world rose and fell with no final solution to man’s ills.
But wait. We passed something. A kinder and gentler nation. A people destined to be great and in a large measure, good, also. Surely they could bring about this new world? Well, they evidently thought so. Have you ever looked closely at the great seal of the United States. Or at the back of a dollar bill?
There it is in plain sight. Virgil lives. His very words, taken in the 1780’s from Roman history and placed forever on our nation’s tradition: Novus Ordo Seclorum! “New order of the ages”, from the poem. A New World Order!
Our original patriots did indeed believe they would help bring peace to the world, especially the New World which they had conquered. The dream has persisted, despite the things going on in the aforementioned tyrannies of Germany and Italy and Russia and China and the others. America has stood out.
In more recent history, we can trace NWO thinking back to Woodrow Wilson. The First World War had ended, and the President wanted to be sure this would never happen again. We need to come together and talk things out, he reasoned. His desire gave birth to the formation of the League of Nations.
Birthed in 1920, the League had forty-eight nations attached to it soon after opening for business. But the business of keeping men’s hands from each other’s throats proved to be too much. With some limited successes over the next twenty years, the League’s ultimate failure took place when yet another World War arrived in all its horror and gore.
The New World Order would have to wait.
But maybe not long. A book by that very name appeared in 1940 by H. G. Wells. The New World Order “addressed the ideal of a world without war in which law and order emanated from a world governing body… ” Sounds like more of that conspiracy theory to me. And Wells was not even a fundamentalist. Not even a Christian. He was merely echoing unconsciously the dream of this world, spawned millennia ago, in Satan’s domain.
But it’s a dream that, when fulfilled, won’t work out too well.