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
10. ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
Earlier, we learned about how nations exhibit both a physical and a spiritual geography; and how in ancient times the borders of the two geographies normally coincided. It was simpler then. That is, the culture of the conquering power tended to stay within the boundaries of its military conquest.
For example, the Greek Empire left behind the “bronze” imprint of its philosophically minded culture everywhere. And Greek temples honoring her mythological gods continued on and were adopted by the Romans who came later. The Romans in turn imposed their own form of government and emperor worship upon the world of their day.
But nowadays, because of modern technology – television, easy travel, electronic funds transfer, instant communication and exchange of information, and so on – a nation’s culture (its “spiritual geography”) can expand far beyond its physical borders. These new technologies can extend the dominion of power-hungry men far beyond the range of political borders.
Because of the subtle intertwining of money, power, and media influence in the modern world, geographical boundaries do not limit these more intangible domains from spreading into different regions of the world and, most importantly, from mixing together to form a new religion – symbolized in Daniel’s ancient vision as “iron mixed with miry clay”. (2:41,43-KJV)
As for modern technology, the Scriptures do refer to this peculiar feature of modern life in somewhat cryptic terms. For example, the “beast” with the “ten horns” is pictured as having “great iron teeth” and “nails of brass”; there is the ability of the final military demagogue to “make desolate” by “the overspreading of abominations”. (Daniel 7:7,19, 9:27 – KJV) These all sound like symbolic references to the peculiar mega-destructive armaments that exist in today’s world, which the “beast from the sea” will use to conquer certain nations. “All the world. . . worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is able to make war with him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4) (More information in Unraveling the Mystery of the Abomination series)
As for the other “beast”, the one coming “out of the earth”, he works to promote worship of the Antichrist through an “image” of him and uses that “image” to raise persecution against the “non-worshipers”. He also organizes the world’s economic system by use of a “mark” and a “666-number”. These are all fairly obvious references to modern inventions in media technology, electronics, computerization, mass surveillance, cashless economies. Each “beast” (superpower) seems to be a technological base from which their respective “heads” (Antichrist and False Prophet) can operate. (More information in Unraveling the Mystery of the Image series)
The Antichrist’s rise to power and adulation before the world requires the combined technological resources of both Beasts. The EU and China, if they are the nations from which the Earth-Beast operates, could supply the educated manpower, advanced media and computer technology, industrial base, and money and credit systems needed for the rise of the Antichrist. From Russia will come a military society, extensive weapon systems, and a huge supply of natural resources. These two “beasts” and the two geographical “feet” symbolize, it would seem, the vast Eurasian empire, rising up before our eyes nowadays. Those are the “physical geography” aspects of the final empire.
But now, as far as the “spiritual geography” is concerned, this is where the limits of geographical and political borders seem to vanish. Because of modern technology, cultural influence can be a rather fluid thing in today’s world. Already we are seeing the Euro-American version of Materialism, this new secular religion, spreading in both Russia and the EU, and in most of the rest of the world, because of technological advances in media advertising, credit systems, and money transfer. (Revelation 17-18 expresses in graphic terms this religion or system of Materialism, which is called there the “great harlot”.)
Regarding this cultural fluidity, we can see how this has worked with the American empire. Although America has military bases all over the world, nevertheless, her political boundaries are confined pretty much to her own territory. Unlike the colonial empires of the 16th to 20th centuries, she does not exercise official, government control in other nations.
But she doesn’t have to. America’s financial and cultural boundaries extend all over the world. Stock exchanges, the cashless economy, and system of electronic funds transfer have made it easy for the mega-merchants of the “great harlot” to slip past physical borders and establish huge domains of economic influence.
Distant foreign masters can subjugate whole nations without the use of an army or establishing new political borders. Nations can be de-stabilized by supporting their enemies financially. Huge fortunes can be drained out of a country into the coffers of these money magnates. Nations are made to suffer financial collapse with little effort.
Easy loans, high interest rates, and other forms of financial trickery have been used with devastating effect on the poorer nations of the world to get them under the control of the western power brokers. Some Third World governments have managed to escape these economic shackles, but many have collapsed before the subtle, unrelenting force of this marauding “great harlot” of western capitalism. Jurisdiction over the economies of many nations has shifted into the hands of this vast commercial empire. And with that comes political control.
Like the “great harlot,” the Antichrist/False Prophet empire will try to spread itself everywhere with the help of the same modern technology, the which is able, even now, to link every country and neighborhood around the world in a uniform economic system through cashless transactions and credit systems. And in the future it will manifest as the “mark of the beast”, without which “no one may buy or sell.” (Revelation 13:17)
As for the demagoguery surrounding the Antichrist, media communication, with its ability to leap across political borders, will easily generate propaganda, worship, and fear of him in the world at large. The somewhat decadent influence of television and other media platforms, has been around a long time, undermining the values and mores of Western culture and has spread itself into the rest of the world as well.
So the infrastructure is there; the world is accustomed to being immersed in media broadcasting of one sort or another. Thus, in addition to financial control, the False Prophet has at his fingertips this huge domain of influence – of media manipulation. Through satellite broadcasting he can subvert whole cultures and control public opinion in faraway lands.
The Russian Beast, as we understand from Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11, will conquer – geographically – the Mideast. But through the media, the Antichrist’s power can extend much further, so that fear of and reverence for him can be felt all over the world. The masses will be well informed about the Beast’s superior military prowess. “All the world marveled and followed after the beast. . . and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? who is able to make war with him?’” (Revelation 13:4)
Besides communicating everywhere this fear and propaganda about the Beast, television and other forms of media technology can also make him the object of secular worship to people in every nook and cranny of the world. This is the powerful “image of the beast” spoken of in Revelation 13. (For more details on this, see the series of posts in Unraveling the Mystery of the Image.)
As soon as the Antichrist arrives on the scene, this worship-of-the-Beast religion will spread far and wide in a very short time through the False Prophet’s manipulation of modern media technology. (At the same time, it should be noted, in some quarters this will generate plenty of opposition to the Antichrist’s growing influence in the world.)
So, modern media imperialism also turns out to be a form of religious imperialism that the False Prophet uses to spread the worship of the other Beast, the Antichrist. And by so doing, the False Prophet can draw the world more easily into his own net – the “mark-number” system – which, conveniently for him, is done in the name of the Antichrist. (Revelation 13:16-17)
And so, because of the effect of these technologies – in the financial domain, media communication, high speed travel – this could be another way to look at the overlapping, or mixture, of the iron and clay symbolism in the feet of the image.