SHAPE OF THE FUTURE (4A)

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4 – WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

4-A. Merger – Two Separate Beasts Become One “Iron and Clay” Dominion
4-B. “The Kingdom Shall Be Divided”
4-C. Role of Technology in the Antichrist and False Prophet’s New World Order
4-D. What the Future Holds
         On the Political-Economic Level
         On the Religious Level

4-A: Merger – Two Separate Beasts Become One “Iron and Clay” Dominion

To sum things up so far: Through these prophetic visions in the Books of Daniel and Revelation, God was faithful to present to His people a realistic picture of the beast-like kingdoms that have come and gone through history. Furthermore, our faith is encouraged to see how well John’s vision of the two End Time empires (in Revelation 13) pictured so far in advance the historical reality that is even now developing in our modern world; and of course, how well Daniel’s vision of the “image” (in Daniel 2) portrayed so simply the complex situation of our modern times (and of the near future).

These two visions (in Daniel 2 and Revelation 13) give us a basic outline of the dual nature of the Antichrist kingdom and how it will appear: physically, as a political alliance of two geographical territories, and spiritually, as the union of demagoguery and materialism.

The inclusion of the False Prophet’s materialism brings in an extra enticement to worship the Antichrist. It’s not just a form of emperor worship; but integrated right in with that, the name of the Antichrist also brings access to the world’s material needs. Mammon and emperor worship fuse together – a powerful combination that will captivate much of the world in these Last Days of man’s rule on Earth.

What a remarkable glimpse into the future were these revelations from so long ago!

From what we’ve gathered so far, it seems the End Time stage will feature two separate rulers (and their empires), yet at the same time they manage to operate as one empire. In ancient times it was simpler. In the Daniel 2 vision of the “image”, the dual geographic empires of Medo-Persia and Rome were each symbolized by only one metal material (represented by silver and iron respectively). That meant the same regime, or same type of regime, was ruling in each territory

But the feet portion of the image is different: It is made up of two materials, not just one, meaning there are two types of regimes involved. And since the two materials are mixed, that suggests something a little more complex, namely, the kind of union of two Beasts we learn about in Revelation 13; it goes beyond just a union of two territories.

Both the vision of the “image” in Daniel 2 and of the two “beasts” in Revelation 13 reveal the uniqueness of our modern world compared to that of ancient times: besides two geographic territories, there are two Beasts who each base out of their respective territory yet operate in both. In today’s world, geographic/political expansion is not the only way to conquer, so it is possible for this to happen.

The two superpowers (“beasts”) needn’t confine themselves too much to geographic borders, in other words. The less visible boundaries of media and economic imperialism (what we might call “spiritual geography”) have helped create this unusual state of affairs in our modern world. In this way, the Antichrist won’t rule in Russia only, but, we might suppose, in much of Europe, and some of the rest of the world. Likewise, the False Prophet’s domain isn’t confined to Europe (or wherever his base is) but can extend anywhere in the world.

So this concept of “spiritual geography” has taken on a new twist. Unlike the ancient empires, the spiritual geography of each modern empire – by means of modern technology – spreads far beyond the boundaries of their physical conquest. And even more unusual, their “spiritual geographies” mix; they merge together to create this peculiar “religion” that is an offshoot of (what this study has proposed) an alliance between Russia and Europe. (See news article in Appendix: “EU Leader Calls for Global Governance with Russia”.)

The land masses themselves, of course, cannot blend together. And the physical geography is therefore symbolized by the two separate feet of the “image” and the two separate “beasts” of Revelation 13. But in the “spiritual geography” dimension, they do mix.

Mammon-worship combines with emperor-worship, and together they get a powerful grip on the world. Or, in modern terms, the world’s two main secular “religions” combine – Materialism (“mark of the beast” cashless society) and secular Demagoguery (Antichrist’s military rule). In ancient times, this might have been called the union of the gods of war and wealth, Mars and Mammon; today, we might call it the union of Militarism and Materialism. (And interestingly, they seem to correspond with the activities of the “red horse” and “black horse” mentioned in Revelation 6.)

In the following more technical explanation of how all this works, we can look again at the diagram of empires:

7 World Empires - Copy - Copy copy copy

In the above picture the Daniel 2 “image” section of it illustrates the gold head of Babylon, the silver arms of Medo-Persia, the brass belly and haunches of Greece, and the “fourth kingdom”, the iron legs of Rome. The feet portion was also considered part of the “fourth kingdom”, even though there is a new substance of clay there mixed in with the iron. (Daniel 2:40)

In a later vision (“Daniel 7″ in the above illustration), Daniel saw the same progression of empires symbolized in a different form – as “beasts from the sea”:

“And four great beasts came up from the sea… Those great beasts… are four kings, which shall arise.” (Daniel 7:3,17)

In these two chapters of Daniel 2 and 7, the Lord is portraying the same thing from different viewpoints. Thus, in the above diagram the metallic kingdoms in the Daniel 2 “image” are shown corresponding with the different beasts of Daniel 7.

Of peculiar interest is the “dreadful fourth beast”. (7:7) It corresponds to the “fourth kingdom” of the Daniel 2 “image” (the portion of it that includes the “legs” and “iron and clay feet”). This Beast (with its ten horns and embellished description) represents more than just ancient Rome. Like a double-image exposure in photography, it includes the End Time empire.

And this resembles how the “fourth kingdom” of the “image” was portrayed. Although the legs clearly symbolize ancient Rome, it is in the “feet” region of the “fourth kingdom” that the Stone comes to crush the “image” and establish God’s Kingdom on Earth. Yet there is a certain amount of continuity: the iron in the legs continues on into the feet. Likewise, some of the “dreadful” features of the “fourth beast” are to be found in both Rome and the End Time empire.

Even though both legs and feet of the image are called the “fourth kingdom”, this tail end of the “fourth kingdom” could have been called the “fifth kingdom”. That is, we can safely assume that the “feet” portion of the legs actually represents another empire, coming after the Roman empire. This is that final era when the “iron” nature of government inherited long ago from Rome mixes with another substance – the “miry clay”… coming just before that climactic moment in history when the Stone hits the feet and ushers in the Millennial reign of Christ on Earth.

There are other clues pointing to the fact that this “fourth beast” in Daniel 7 includes the End Time empire. Perhaps the most obvious is the presence of the “ten horns”; they re-appear in Revelation 12, 13, and 17 where it is clear that the setting is the End Time period of history.

4 beasts   copy

At this point in the ongoing revelation of the future, the distinction between the ancient and modern empires was rather vague and did not get clarified until about six centuries later. When John the Apostle received his revelations, he saw a vision of two Beasts who were to arise at the Time of the End: a 10-horned “beast from the sea”, who is a sort of reproduction of the same 10-horned Beast in Daniel 7 (except it has 7 heads), and a new and very different two-horned “beast from the earth”. (Revelation 13:1,11)

Since the materials cum body parts in the image of Daniel 2 correspond to the various beasts in Daniel 7, then those materials/ body parts might also correspond with the beasts mentioned in Revelation 13 and 17. Thus, we could add the following entries to the above chart, extending it a bit in order to more precisely match the “iron and clay feet” with their corresponding “beasts” (of Revelation 13):

The “iron” in the “feet” matches with the 7-headed, 10-horned sea-Beast of Revelation 13:1-10.

The “clay” in the “feet” matches with the dragon-like earth-Beast of Revelation 13:11-18.

 2 beasts   copy

So what all this means is that within the “fourth beast/kingdom”, besides the iron-only empire of Rome, there are two more empires to be accounted for; they are the simultaneous kingdoms of the Antichrist and False Prophet. In Daniel 2 and 7 they are viewed as one “fourth kingdom/fourth beast”, and the full reality and distinctions don’t emerge until later – in the 13th and 17th chapter of the Revelation Book.

As we’ve learned, the feet by themselves symbolize the apparent geographical division (Russia/EU) while the iron and clay mixture symbolizes the less tangible political-economic and religious aspects of the two empires. Because of the subtle intertwining of money, power, and influence in the modern world, the geographical boundary does not limit the more intangible domains of economics, culture, religion, and spiritual influence from spreading into different regions of the world and, most importantly, from mixing together to form a new religion. This is a reality that was symbolized in Daniel’s ancient vision as “iron mixed with miry clay”. (2:41,43-KJV)

The Revelation 13 passage also portrays the modern reality – but from a different angle: describing the activities of two different Beasts and how they work closely together to forge a single Antichrist kingdom. This situation is coming about largely because the “clay” power has been working behind the scenes for centuries and has achieved its position of supremacy in the modern world to the point where it has become a Beast in its own right as portrayed in Revelation 13:11-18.

And as the commercial forces have had to worm their way into the world’s courts of power to survive, so the military-political systems, in order to stay afloat, have been forced to compromise and cooperate with the powers of big business. In fact, it looks as though this “clay” power dominates the present historical landscape to a large extent.

Now if the two different regimes did not mix, or combine, then it would be a situation where the two Endtime Beasts stick to their own territories, and the image might have one clay foot and one iron foot – one regime immersed in the False Prophet’s materialism, the other in the Antichrist’s demagoguery.

This was the situation in World War II; the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan were all pretty much separate cultures. Hitler was revered, even worshiped in Germany, but he was not worshiped in the other two nations. He was a national hero, whereas the Antichrist will will be a more international figure. He will be worshiped, not just in Russia, but in Europe and other nations. Similarly, the False Prophet’s religion of Materialism will be followed worldwide.

So in the religious realm, there will be this mixing of Emperor worship and Mammon worship. On the economic-political level, it appears the mixing has already happened. Rome’s “iron” style of government exists in every nation, while the “clay” style of commercial rule by the ultra-rich “merchants” has also expanded throughout the world. And the two exist side by side now in almost every country.

To summarize, the image has two types of materials: the various metals, and then finally the clay material. This symbolic representation shows that two styles of government have existed in the world – the military-political (metal), which has dominated for a long time, and the business-commercial (clay), a late bloomer, coming to full power only in recent history (in the feet of the image).

Although they have separate geographical bases (represented by the “feet”), nevertheless, because the two kingdoms form an alliance – as revealed in the Revelation 13 symbolism of the two “beasts” cooperating together – their effect upon the world is symbolized as “iron mixed with miry clay”. Their regime blends the forces of materialism and military demagoguery – an overwhelming combination that will capture the loyalties of much of the world in its final days.

It is a paradoxical and unique situation in world history: to have two separate empires whose cultures and religions will be shared in both empires. To illustrate: imagine if, during World War II, the Axis powers were truly sharing their cultures – the Japanese adopting the “Heil Hitler” slogan and the Germans hanging pictures of the Japanese emperor alongside Hitler’s. But in the upcoming world order, something like this will happen: both the Antichrist and False Prophet personages, and both their systems of rule, will be adopted throughout the two main territories that will comprise the great superpower of the final days. (And no doubt, many outside nations will be caught up in it as well.)

So isn’t it intriguing how the ancient revelations in the Daniel and Revelation Books had grasped these peculiar features of modern history so long before they will come to pass and become a reality that we are only now beginning to comprehend?

First, it was Daniel’s vision – such a clever, yet simple way for the Lord to illustrate the panorama of history, including the complex economic-political and religious situation of our modern times (“iron mixed with miry clay” in the “feet” – Daniel 2:41,43 KJV) Then later on, John the Apostle saw something similar from a different angle – two “beasts” from the “earth” and “sea” working closely together; and finally, he was given the angel’s explanation about a two-beasts-in-one arrangement: “The beast… is himself also the eighth and is of the seven”. (Revelation 13, 17:11)

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Continue to 4B: “The Kingdom Shall Be Divided”

Appendix:

Bilderberg-picked EU Leader Van Rompuy Calls for Global Governance With Russia
http://player.vimeo.com/video/56086741?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0

Dec 27, 2012
        While much of the Christian and post-Christian worlds were busy rushing about in last-minute preparations for Christmas celebrations, an important event took place in Brussels, Belgium, that went largely unnoticed and unreported. Leaders of the European Union and Russia met in Brussels on December 20 and 21 for the 30th EU-Russia Summit continuing a process of convergence and interdependence that is leading toward political, economic, and social merger. In his remarks at the conclusion of the summit, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, made repeated reference to progress toward the goal of “global governance,” which has always been code in globalist circles for world government. Van Rompuy stated:
        By working together, the EU and Russia can make a decisive contribution to global governance and regional conflict resolution, to global economic governance in the G 8 and G 20, and to a broad range of international and regional issues. I would like to congratulate President Putin for taking over the presidency of G 20. 

        [From this article, are we getting a glimpse, or mini-preview, into the future when the False Prophet (from Europe?) will forge ties with and build up the Antichrist from Russia?  It should be kept in mind that in these beginning stages there are many worthwhile goals that the EU and Russia would like to achieve – tackling various world problems, which the present U.S.-dominated world order has proven itself incapable of solving. So at this stage these recent events should not be viewed in a sinister light, since it is simply a matter of God allowing this merger of superpowers as a means of correcting the injustices and intractable conflicts in the Mid East. Of course, we know that eventually, the forces of Darkness will hijack the process and try to harness it into serving their own destructive ends. We get a hint of this in Ezekiel 38 about the invasion of “Gog” from the “far north” into Israel and the Mid East: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan.” (verse 10) But until then, the recent new developments happening between the EU and Russia should be viewed as a welcome and needed re-balancing of power in the world. (Recently, there has been a setback in relations between Russia and the EU because of the turmoil in Ukraine; whether or not the present division will turn out to be temporary remains to be seen.)]

       [RETURN]

Continue to 4B: “The Kingdom Shall Be Divided”

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