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3-A. Physical and Spiritual Geography in Daniel 2
3-B. Modern Day Cultures of Darkness
3-C. How “Iron” Continues in Today’s World: Domain of the Antichrist
3-D. “Clay” Power in Ancient Times
3-E. Rise of “Clay” Power in the Modern Age
3-F. “Clay” in the 20th Century 

3-B. Modern Day Cultures of Darkness

But what about modern cultures? They are so secular; can we truly say they would leave a “religious” impression upon the world? Do modern industrialized nations practice some form of false religion? Several decades ago, they were, in name at least, Christian monarchies and republics. Their relationship with the Almighty, however, had devolved from its purer state into what Revelation 17-18 describes in uncomplimentary terms as resembling the wayward ways and character of a “harlot”. (This was a term applied sometimes to ancient Israel also when she fell away from the worship and ways of her God.)

History has witnessed a parade of once-loyal “brides” transforming into “harlots”. In the early days of Christianity, many a “beast”-like nation converted and changed into a “bride”. As time went on, those nations slipped gradually into the ways of a “harlot”. The European nations were at one time strong bastions of Christianity; then during the Middle Ages, as the Crusades and Inquisition got underway, they transformed into oppressors of other peoples and persecutors of true Christians. With the onset of the Reformation, Europe’s Christianity got back on track to some degree. After this, the Colonial Age came along and European nations again adopted the ways of a “harlot” through their greedy trading practices and exploitation of weaker nations.

Eventually, as the purity of their founding  faith continues to deteriorate, nations become susceptible to a false worship system, and then a further transformation takes place: they come full circle and become “beasts” - nations/empires in which the Christian worship system has been outlawed and/or replaced by a different religious system altogether. In fact, this has already happened. A look through 20th century history reveals that great cultures of Darkness have swept through the modern, industrialized, and Christian regions of the world and could once more sweep away the old landmarks of Christian faith prior to the return of Christ.

Consider, for example, the “beast from the sea”, the resurrected Soviet Union – Russia plus her 10 horns. For several decades, the Russian people became conditioned to living under the cloud of atheism and under authoritarian regimes and rulers exalted into the status of demagogues. And it was similar to what existed in all the metallic and sea-Beast empires of the past: an exaltation of the king into divine status, intended by the Devil to usurp the true worship of God. Although in Russia the pendulum for now has swung away from atheist communism, it could, under a rising tide of nationalism, swing back again to a similar brand of spiritual Darkness. Less emphasis on Communism probably, but the old anti-God beliefs and demagoguery, these are the features that could rise up again in the new Russia.

And looking at the other “beast from the earth”, whom we have presumed to be the EU, over the last century and a half, we can trace how Europe’s great Christian heritage has been uprooted by the philosophies of evolution, humanism, atheism. During the 1930s and 40s, such philosophies, especially evolution theory and eugenics, undermined Christian faith and conviction and offered alternative world views that served as the basis for Nazi policies and demagoguery. Although Nazism is long gone, much of the philosophical heritage that acted as a sort of breeding ground for it has continued to grow and seems now to be paving the way for the rise of a new type of “religion” that Europe now embraces, its own peculiar brand of spiritual Darkness, one we might call secular Materialism, or a religion that’s against religion.

Essentially, this “religion” boils down to the worship of man and the natural world and the things and wealth that it provides. Once faith in God has been overthrown, that’s all there is left. Over the last 50 years or so, we have seen this decline in faith happen bit by bit. More and more in modern Europe, official government policies have gradually prohibited the practice of religious faith, especially Christianity. This has happened, not in great waves of obvious persecution, but in more subtle, hidden ways. So again, herein is harbored a great “culture of darkness” that is already working to cloud the minds and hearts of untold numbers of people – a culture that will eventually culminate in a new form of religion, one based on Materialism and on receiving the “mark of the beast”.

So, as the EU-Russia combine begins to embrace the world in a unified credit system under a new charismatic leader, their conquest will bring on a new culture of Darkness. This will manifest as both the demagoguery surrounding the Antichrist and the devotion given to material prosperity and survival. It’s like an updated version of the ancient worship of Mammon and emperor worship, adapted to our scientific age without the usual religious trappings associated with idolatry.

But, as we know from the Revelation Book, a new type of initiation rite will come into vogue, that of receiving the “mark of the beast”. (Likely, this will be implanted in or on the skin, a tattoo or microchip, without which it will be very difficult to buy or sell. But this is a big subject, beyond the scope of the present study. (See post “666 and the Mark of the Beast” for more information.) So, this modern version of a worship system will spread, not just in Europe and Russia, but over much of the world. It will be a new “religion”. The difference, however, is that it will be a religion that doesn’t look like a religion.

Nevertheless, as happened before in ancient times, the Antichrist will become an object of worship – or more accurately, of political, secular adulation – not only in Russia, but in much of the rest of the world; and this will come about mainly through the influence of the False Prophet. His promoting the “image of the beast” causes the world to worship the Antichrist. (Revelation 13:12, 15) What’s new, however, is that this modern Beast, with the help of the False Prophet, also brings the world’s economic salvation. The Antichrist becomes an almighty benefactor, the source of the world’s material wealth.

The Antichrist empire will thus control the world from two directions. Nations will feel the pressure to accept the Antichrist – not only to survive his military campaigns, but also, survive economically. There will be this peculiar interplay of political-military regimes with their big business “managers”. Now that the modern world has built the necessary infrastructure (of weapons, credit systems, media communication, and so on), this will enable the earth and sea “beasts” to conquer much of the modern world. They will have a large enough platform from which to launch the new form of emperor worship, the one that ties in with the “mark of the beast” system, the modern day version of Mammon-worship.

Revelation 13 pictures this twofold assault on the world in the symbolism of the two “beasts” from the “sea” and the “earth” (who work together). The vision of the “image” in Daniel 2 symbolizes it differently as the “feet” of “iron and clay” (“mixed” together). Iron, the strong military-republican rule that ruthlessly crushes all opposition, similar to the rule of ancient Rome. The rule of the Caesar dictators has already re-appeared in modern times – in the form of Communist dictators and the German Fuehrer – and will climax with the rise of the future Antichrist demagogue. Clay: The equally ruthless economic power that forces everyone to ensure his material survival by entering the “mark-number” system.

Continue to 3C: How “Iron” Continues in Today’s World: Domain of the Antichrist

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