2. Dual Nature of the Empire
3. Spiritual and Physical Geography
4. Economic Superpower: the New Beast
5. Who are the Two Superpowers of the End?
6. Physical Geography: Which Two Territories?
7. Earth-Beast: False Prophet and Money Master
8. Iron-Clay Kingdom = Sea-Earth Beasts’ Empire
9. The Kingdom shall be Divided
10. Role of Technology
11. What the Future Holds
12 – SUMMARY
From the Daniel and Revelation Books we can understand that two superpowers (“beasts”) will unite to form a world government during the closing era of this Age.
As the historical landscape stretches before our eyes, we can foresee that China and Russia may very well be the two superpowers in question here, to be joined later perhaps by several European countries. In order to become masters of the world, they work together.
And what enables their rise to supremacy?
1) Operating in different domains of power makes it easier for them to combine forces and to broaden their influence. This they will need to do in order to thoroughly conquer and rule the kind of world we have today.
2) Every nation, as symbolized by the iron-clay mixture in the Daniel 2 image, contains within itself a power infrastructure that includes the military establishment and commercial conglomerates. And in this way, the ground is already prepared for the military/mega-merchant combine (Antichrist/False Prophet partnership) to take over.
3) One of the fruits of modern technology is that it can transcend the old limitations of gathering power and influence in the world. Modern means of travel, communication, media influence, funds transfer, computer surveillance will enable these two Beasts to spread out further, overcoming geographical limitations, ruling in each other’s territory, as well as subjugating large portions of the rest of the world.
Our study of the Daniel 2 “image” has led us to conclude that nations and empires not only have a “physical geography” (represented by the body parts), but also a “spiritual geography” (represented by the metal and clay materials).
We also saw that the symbolic picture in the “feet” portion of the “image” seems complicated, Our world is a strange one indeed compared to the world of yesteryear. And the glimpses of it, foreseen in the ancient Scriptures, reflects with uncanny precision the peculiar, complex historical reality of our modern day.
Regarding the physical geography features, we know that the ancient dual empires of Medo-Persia and East-West Rome were symbolized by the two arms and two legs of the “image”. The modern empire, symbolized by the two iron-and-clay feet will also consist of two geographical territories – Europe and Asia from the looks of it. They are like extensions of the ancient boundaries of East and West Rome, and this reflects the symbolic portrayal in the Daniel 2“image” of the “feet” which are extensions of the “legs”. (See Map.)
Regarding the spiritual geography features, these pertain to intangible features like the religious influence and the dynamics of how these empires operate. And it helps to understand also that these metals and clay components of the “image” correspond to the “beasts” of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. (See Chart 1.) Logically then, the iron in the image corresponds to the warlike Sea-Beast of Revelation 13; the clay would then correspond to the other Earth-Beast whose domain appears to be in the economic and religious realms. (See Chart 2.)
That means that the “iron and clay” components in the feet of the Daniel 2 “image” should represent separate empires; yet, paradoxically, they are able to “mix”. This peculiar symbolism matches nicely the Revelation 13 description of the Sea and Earth Beasts working closely together. It also seems to reflect how technology has erased the borders that used to limit the world of ancient times.
And it reflects the modern historical situation where we see that commercial conglomerates and their mega-“merchants” (of Revelation 18:23) have entered the political arena and are working in conjunction with the political-military regimes of the world; such a situation did not exist in ancient times, at least not to the extent that it is now. And we see the manifestation nowadays in the growing partnership between Russia and China, to be followed perhaps by alliances with several of the European nations.
This is a common pattern in history: the mega-merchants like to call for military muscle power to protect their economic interests. This is what the commercial powers of China and Europe may want to do in the future to protect themselves from American threats: ally with the Russian superpower, which has the needed weapons and proven ability to wage war. It is no surprise then that in the Daniel 2 “image” vision, the iron in the legs continues on into the feet portion so that “the strength of the iron shall be in it.” (2:4)
And by the time the Antichrist new world order is complete and ready to be launched, when the platform gets big enough, the two power structures will be ready also to launch a new religion. Under the guidance of the False Prophet, Antichrist worship will mix with the worship of Materialism – both of which will be expressed in a new secular-religious system featuring the Antichrist’s broadcasted “image” and “mark of the beast” (needed for buying and selling). And this matches with the symbolism of “iron and clay mixed” in the feet portion of the Daniel 2 image.
Another interesting conclusion from our study thus far has to do with the common thread of dualism intertwining the symbolisms of (1) the “iron and clay feet” of the “image” (2) the sea and earth “beasts” of Revelation 13, and even (3) the “red horse” and “black horse” of Revelation 6. These symbolic portrayals seem to relate to each other, as if they are different ways of expressing the same thing. (See Chart.)
In order to exercise control over the world, the powers of evil (Red Horse and Black Horse) must first be exercising control in the world. The political, economic, and technological mechanisms through which they can function must be in working order. And so it is that the old Roman “iron” form of republican, military domination over nations has combined now with the “clay” commercial ownership of nations.
And this will happen as, not only a combination of two superpowers (two Beasts of Revelation 13), but has already happened in the subtle intertwining of two “systems” of rule everywhere throughout the earth (symbolized as “iron and clay” mixed): “iron” which lends itself to man-worship (typical of all the metal empires); “clay” which draws the masses into materialism, the worship of things and wealth.
As these two Beasts from Sea and Earth join forces, they will transform into a single empire. Each beast ends up occupying the other’s sphere of influence in a sense. It may work like this: Russia will accept the Chinese-European administrative system while adopting the credit system of the “mark of the beast”; Europe and China, on the other hand, will promote the rise of Russia, exalting its leader as head of the new world order and bestowing on him a sort of secular divinity.
And the rest of the world, to varying degrees, will be captivated by the joint secular “religion” promoted by these two superpowers. With its mixed “iron and clay” government and religion, the influence of this soon-to-arrive dual kingdom will be doubly powerful as the forces of Darkness attempt to seize control of the world, and do as much damage as possible, before the final end of this present Age.
In summary, the ruling societies of modern times have become partnerships between business community and military establishment – a type of government system that in ancient times had not come into full bloom. Having this kind of economic-political infrastructure in place in every nation will make it easier for the Antichrist and False Prophet empires to unite and impose their new regime on the world. “Whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.” (Daniel 2:43 – KJV) As they unite, these two political kingdoms become one kingdom that will dominate the world politically, economically, and religiously.
Their unity may only be temporary however; the verse goes on to say, “they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.” What this could mean is difficult to speculate on at the moment. But here is one possible interpretation: Because they occupy different domains of power, this helps to broaden their reach in the world. Yet at the same time it would be easy to imagine that the militarists and the merchants will have conflicting goals and will be pulling in different directions.
So now we have a rough picture that gives some shape to the future that is coming. As time goes by, the picture will become clearer, and along with that, undoubtedly, some adjustments and fine-tuning will be needed in our understanding of these things. “For now we see through a glass, darkly.” (1Corinthians 13:12 – KJV). But we do have the benefit of some historical hindsight. And many of the things that were vague before – seen “through a glass, darkly” – can be understood more clearly nowadays.
It inspires our faith when we can appreciate from the Sacred Book God’s amazing foresight. If He could foresee the future so well from such a long time ago, then He really knows the score. And it comforts us to know that He’s the One in charge.
Right now, the evil forces are being allowed quite a bit of control. But we can be assured to know, according especially to the words of the Daniel and Revelation Books, that their dominance will be short-lived and will crumble forever before the rise of the soon-coming Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
“And in the days of these kings (or kingdoms of iron and clay in the feet and toes of the image) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44) ”The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)