SHAPE OF THE FUTURE (2C)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

2 – The Final Empire: Its Physical Geography

2-A. Dual Nature of the Empire
2-B. Economic Superpower: the New Beast
2-C. Who Are the Two Superpowers of the End?
2-D. Is Modern Europe the “Beast from the Earth”
2-E. Eighth Head
2-F. Who Are the “Ten Horns”

2-C. Who Are the Two Superpowers of the End?

So now, the question is, who are these two Beasts? Or, what territories do the two “feet” of Daniel’s vision of the “image” symbolize? In the chapter (2A) about the dual nature of the final kingdom, it was noted that one of the Beasts/feet was represented by Russia, but a question mark still hangs over the identity of the other Beast/foot.

But we could deduce this much: whichever nation or superpower it is, it would have to be strong enough and commercialized enough to be capable of administering the world economically. (As mentioned, this seems to be the major strong point about the earth-Beast’s domain.) Nowadays, that means being a technologically advanced and fully computerized society.

At present, the European Union would seem the best candidate to play the “earth-Beast” role on the End Time stage. For a number of reasons:

        1) The EU and Russia are natural partners: they are in close proximity and share a similar culture and heritage.

◊ One aspect that Russia and the EU do not have in common is their government systems: the EU’s liberal democracy differs from Russia’s more authoritarian style of government.  In recent news [2014-15] relations between the EU and Russia have soured considerably because of the situation in Ukraine. This has also driven Russia to forge closer trade ties with China. Whether or not this political-economic situation will change, is difficult to gauge right now. Anyway, more on this love-hate relationship between the EU and Russia will be outlined further ahead in this study in the section “The Kingdom shall be Divided”.

        2) As for the more distant American empire, it is hard to imagine how this nation, which has generally remained hostile to Russia in spite of communism’s collapse, could ever enter into a close partnership with her.
        3)
Also, the old barrier of communism has been removed; this has distanced Russia somewhat from her old communist partner, China, and cleared the way for her to enter more into the European orb of democratic nations.
        4) However, China is also becoming a great commercial superpower and lately, has been growing closer to Russia. Could China and Russia be the two powers that will join forces to rule the world in its final days? That is certainly a possibility to consider. It is possible too that China will play the role of outsider – a competitive threat that could prod Russia and the EU into joining forces in order to strengthen themselves against the up-and-coming Chinese rival.
        5) As will be outlined in the rest of this post, a compelling reason to identify Russia and the EU as the two territories that comprise the final Antichrist empire can be seen in the symbolic portrayal of the “image” in Daniel 2 and its uncanny correlation with the geographical and chronological nature of the Mideast empires. 

For example, the symbolism for the empires of Medo-Persia and Greece shows respectively “arms and breast”, “belly and thighs”.  (Incidentally, “thighs” should be translated as “haunches”, “hips”, or “buttocks”.) Between breast and belly, there is not much of a separation; they can almost be thought of as one body part. Not surprisingly, Medo-Persia and Greece seem to reflect this symbolism rather accurately; each one occupied almost the same territory as the other.

On the chronology aspect of the “image” vision: the long arms and legs symbolize rather well the lengthy empires of Medo-Persia and Rome. (The arms and legs also correlate with the dual nature of those two empires.) The first and last empires symbolized in the “image” are represented by the comparatively short head and feet. Babylon’s rule lasted only 70 years, and the final Antichrist empire will be even less: “he (the final Beast) was given authority to continue for forty-two months… and when he comes, he must continue a short time.” (Revelation 13:5, 17:10)

Knowing how accurately the symbolism portrayed the geographical reality of the ancient empires, let us look at how we might apply the symbolism of the “feet” and the “legs” of the “image” to modern reality. One thing we might deduce: since a foot is part of the leg, we might expect to find some relationship between the Roman “legs” and the modern Antichrist-kingdom “feet”. Do the two legs of East and West Rome divide the world along similar lines – that is, between Europe and Russia, the two superpowers we’ve deduced might form the Antichrist empire?

Well, we can see how the EU superpower occupies most of the territory that used to belong to West Rome. However, the ancient empire of East Rome covered only a tiny corner of the Russian superpower. Perhaps we could say that the culture of East Rome spread into Russia through the Roman Orthodox Church. We can also include the Mideast here and north Africa since these regions, according to the prophecies in Daniel 11 and Ezekiel 38-39, will be conquered by or allied to Russia. So, the future expanded Russian empire actually will occupy much of the same territory as the ancient East Roman empire.

◊ The use of the word “Caesar” exemplifies one way that ancient Roman society has left its imprint in both Europe and Russia. The Russian word “Czar” and the German word “Kaiser” both originated from the ancient Roman word “Caesar”.

To conclude, since we usually think of the foot as being part of the leg, then it is not surprising to find that, from the geographical point of view, what we could foresee as the territory of the final empire (the “feet“) might just happen to occupy much the same territory (and in a dual form) as did the ancient Roman empire (the “legs“).

Ancient to Modern Map1a - Copy copy
According to Ezekiel 38-39 and Daniel 11, the future Russian empire will include the nations of the Mideast, some as conquered territories, others as allies. Assuming all these deductions and conclusions so far are correct, then this expanded Russian empire will constitute one half of the Antichrist kingdom. The European Union will comprise the other half.

Even if the modern land areas are not exactly the same as the ancient ones, they are at least connected. And that’s about all that’s necessary. The foot is not the leg, but is only an extension that is connected to it. The same could be said of the EU: many of its countries were never part of ancient Rome. But still it is connected, at least, to the West Roman empire and is an extension of it. To go even further with this leg-foot symbolism, the fact that the feet are more spread out than the legs could be symbolic of how the modern empire is like a spread-out version of ancient Rome. And as mentioned, from the chronological point of view, the fact that the feet are shorter than the legs should symbolize the shortness of the Antichrist reign in comparison to the lengthy rule of ancient Rome. The position of the feet also tells us that this empire comes at the tail end of world history. (Hopefully, this is not overdoing it with the image’s symbolism; it is remarkable, though, how well it seems to fit the modern situation.)

So now we understand what the two feet of Daniel’s image appear to symbolize. How then might the two Beasts of Revelation 13 fit into this framework?  That will be the subject of the next post.

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Continue to 2D: Is Modern Europe the “Beast from the Earth”?

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