The phrase “the Great Reset” generated over eight million interactions on Facebook and tweets about it were shared almost two million times on Twitter, since the launch of the initiative.

In the wake of the US presidential election in 2020, in a roughly 6-minute video, Michael J. Matt, founder of Remnant TV, gravely announced that “everyone’s in on the big reset” and that the only one who stands in their way is Donald Trump. There is much mystery and much speculation surrounding the concept of the Great Reset, and it is the purpose of this article to shed some light on a complex and much speculated-about subject.

Let’s go to the source

The Great Reset is a program of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is joined by businessmen, politicians, personalities from the academic area, as well as other international leaders.

The program consists of a set of forecasts and proposals for the current decade that are advanced in the hope of stimulating appropriate interventions by world leaders. This vision was designed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but was formulated to respond to dangerous climate change, which is now on the rise. According to Google Trends, over the past year and a half, searches for the Great Reset peaked during the election week in the US, November 15-21, 2020, and at the time the current article was being written, they continued to rise. This essay aims to provide responsible information about the Great Reset platform and to compare it to the prophetic vision of John’s Revelation.

The main source of information on the Great Reset and its connection to the pandemic is the book entitled COVID-19: The Great Reset, signed by Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, and Thierry Malleret, managing partner at the Monthly Barometer. The book is a semi-academic essay on the post-Covid world and is written on the premise that the response to the pandemic also depends on the approach to global warming. According to the two authors, the current world is characterised by interdependence (which makes one problem give rise to many others), by speed (52% of the world’s population is online), and by complexity (which highlights unpredictability). There are five areas where Schwab and Malleret see the need for drastic change.

Economic reset

The authors ask: What is more important to save in a crisis situation, people’s lives or the economy? Obviously the first ones are more important. In a separate article for Time magazine, Schwab defines his vision of a better economy through a new version of capitalism. Essentially, he is advocating that companies no longer only pursue narrow and short-term profits, but also the wellbeing of all people and of the planet. Schwab laments the saying “the business of business is business” (which essentially conveys that the only responsibility of a business is profit) and recommends broader concerns in the business arena. We must admit that this vision seems positive. In this perspective we must look, for example, at the green industry that is gradually growing in popularity and is among the politicians’ concerns.

As positive as this vision of the future economy may sound, the book of Revelation sees the differences between great and small, rich and poor, free and slave perpetuated until the end of history (Revelation 13:16). Moreover, at the end of the list of product exchanges between the merchants of the earth and the woman (Babylon) we find “human beings sold as slaves”[1] (Revelation 18:13). This shows us that, from the perspective of the Bible, the concern of the Great Reset platform and the WEF for a fair economy, for everyone, and for the planet, is either an honest approach that will ultimately fail, or mere propaganda designed to cover up the old capitalist trade where the few get rich[2].

Social reset

The two authors note a decrease in trust in state institutions (due to the faulty response to the COVID-19 pandemic). One of the results is the tendency to look for radical changes. In order to prevent radical actions against other threats (for example, global warming, social inequality), which could bring more harm than good, some radical changes must be made in time. Companies, on the other hand, begging for help during the pandemic, have increased the importance of the government. And the government’s intervention favoured the company to the detriment of the employee. Schwab and Malleret refrain from precise predictions, but offer some broad outlines of how society will be affected: a massive redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, choosing solidarity over competition and social welfare over economic growth.

The last point sounds quite utopian. The book of Revelation does not speak of social equality at the end of time. Instead, it foresees the increase of governmental importance and social radicalization. The dragon gives the sea beast such “great authority” (Revelation 13:2) that the inhabitants of the earth consider the latter unequalled in dominion and power (13:4). The global authority of the sea beast is clearly stated in 13:7 and then transferred to the land beast in 13:12. Based on this worldwide jurisdiction, the latter beast is in a position to order the inhabitants of the earth to make an image of the sea beast which, in turn, exercises global authority (13:16-17; cf. v. 7). This seems to point to the increasing importance of the government and the way in which companies will rise above the employees. In the end, no personal freedom will be offered. At the same time, the image of the beast is a creation of the inhabitants of the earth (the lower/common layers of society), which gets radicalised as soon as it is brought to life.

Geopolitical reset

At a geopolitical level, the WEF reset suggests that, with the pandemic, trends towards deglobalization are increasing. BREXIT and the election of President Trump following his nationalist speech—to which I would add the more recent case of Hungary—show the setback of globalisation in the Western world. This is why we need a nation to fill the hegemonic vacuum. Without it, the world will suffer from a “deficit of global order”, and the 21st century will deepen the gap between states and multipolarity. There is no better candidate than the US for this, although some believe that the support of other allies is also needed. Only a proactive policy could rebuild public confidence in climate policies and the Paris Agreement. For these analysts, the world is now at a turning point and facing “reset” opportunities that will not come twice.

The Great Reset also represents a trilemma: (1) democracy plus nationalism excludes globalisation, (2) nationalism plus globalisation excludes democracy, (3) democracy plus globalisation excludes nationalism. According to this trilemma, if globalisation is to be part of the equation, then either democracy or nationalism must be excluded. The book of Revelation presents the end-time hegemonic power under the symbol of the earthly beast. This seems to be the key figure, the true link between the authority of the sea beast and the formation of its image. Under the rule of the earthly beast, both democracy and nationalism seem to drastically diminish. In this sense, the Great Reset is one of the best ways to anticipate these further developments.

Environmental reset

The main concern when it comes to this chapter is global warming. Climate-friendly policies are deemed urgent. Hope is currently linked to the current US president. The apostle John presents the future of the planet in “hot” terms. The first plague at the end of time brings a terrible skin disease, the second brings disasters on the seas, the third a lack of water, and, during the fourth judgement, the sun scorches the inhabitants of the earth with great heat (Revelation 16, 8, 9). The hot sun, the lack of food and water are also felt by the great crowd of the 144,000 clothed in white (Revelation 7:16). This makes me think that sooner or later the environment reset will fail down the road, even if it seems like a good plan now.

Technological reset

The last area of change is technology. A ubiquitous trend is the habit of using technology more, as a result of the restrictions during the pandemic (school, shopping, online services). People accepted more easily what before seemed irreplaceable: movies, food, communication, physical exercise, and others, all online, began to seem normal.

All things have become e-something: e-learning, e-commerce, e-gaming, e-books, e-attendance. The new normal is also fueled by the phrase “safer-cheaper-greener.”

The excessive use of online communication and marketing platforms obviously also opens up the topic of privacy. This fundamental principle becomes volatile in a context where public health is at risk. Schwab and Malleret have suggested that user tracking is an essential component of the response to the dangers posed by COVID-19. With over 5 billion smartphones globally, the potential to identify infected people was considered unprecedented. As shown in various American and European surveys, the number of citizens who seem to favour smartphone tracking by public authorities is increasing. Obviously, this raises serious concerns about freedoms and rights.

The perspective of being permanently easily monitored seems to reflect what John saw when he said: “The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” We cannot imagine the possibility of a global economic boycott of those who refuse the mark of the beast and, ultimately, a decree of death for those who do not worship the image of the sea beast unless there is a system of oversight. The Great Reset introduces the idea of surveillance in a health hazard context; the book of Revelation speaks of much more.

great reset
The scenario in the book of Revelation (chapters 13 and 17) refers to a world order, but this could hardly be called “new”.

The Great Reset, a conspiracy theory, and the book of Revelation

In political analyst circles, the Great Reset has been met with mixed feelings and almost always with concern. Some consider it too powerless to change anything meaningful, others see it as a propaganda tool behind which the rich get even richer. Some authors highlight the catastrophic dangers to freedom which governmental control could bring. One thing is for sure, the Great Reset is not a conspiracy. It is a proposal for a public program. However, this does not eliminate the negative consequences of the decision-making errors of its promoters, especially the danger of undermining fundamental freedoms.

For its part, the book of Revelation places the final conflict between good and evil in the context of worship. As it now stands, the religious element is not part of the Great Reset program. The changes that the leaders at WEF are proposing are not religious, but they come from areas that may intersect with religion at some point. In the book of Revelation, the elites are oppressive and oppose God, and their following by the inhabitants of the earth seems to take place at a time when these elites are saving the planet[3]. Christians would do well to pay attention to how such phenomena develop, but they should avoid the habit of exaggeration and fatalist predictions until things are clear. Some things that the book of Revelation predicts we will not fully understand until they happen. 

Laurenţiu Moţ takes us behind the scenes of the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” platform-program to discover what is gratifying, but also worrying about the future, as seen by the program’s creators.

[1]„Biblical texts and fragments of biblical texts are reproduced in the author’s translation of this article – ed. note.”
[2]„While millions of people lost their jobs in the US in the first months of the pandemic, Amazon increased its assets by $12 billion during the same period.”
[3]„William H. Shea, “The Chiastic Structure of Revelation 12:1-15:4 The Great Controversy Vision”, Andrews University Studies 38/2, fall of 2000: 269-292 (281).”

„Biblical texts and fragments of biblical texts are reproduced in the author’s translation of this article – ed. note.”
„While millions of people lost their jobs in the US in the first months of the pandemic, Amazon increased its assets by $12 billion during the same period.”
„William H. Shea, “The Chiastic Structure of Revelation 12:1-15:4 The Great Controversy Vision”, Andrews University Studies 38/2, fall of 2000: 269-292 (281).”