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
11. WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
We human beings are naturally curious to know what the future holds. Trying to predict the future, however, can be tricky. As time marches on and future reality begins to unfold, we often observe that those confident predictions from the past have missed their target altogether.
Regardless, based on what we have learned so far, following are some suggestions as to the direction world events may be heading in the near future. These suggestions may wind up wide of the mark, or they may come fairly close. Whatever the case, perhaps they will satisfy our curiosity somewhat, or if not that, at least give us something to think about.
On the Political-Economic Level
Russia has always had a culture susceptible to authoritarian rule. This was true during the Czarist era, then communism, and even today she has a fairly authoritarian government. Probably too, there exists a strong undercurrent of repressed nationalism, a desire to return to superpower status as it was in the glory days of the Soviet Union. But Russia needs to be strengthened.
It would not be hard to imagine then that, during a time of turmoil, Russia and China and perhaps the European Union might agree to join forces as a way of strengthening their collective hands against whatever forces (from America) are threatening to de-stabilize them.
Russia needs Chinese and European money and administrative prowess. China and Europe need Russia’s resources and strong-arm policing. Russia can flex its “iron” muscle to Europe’s advantage on the international scene.
Besides giving protection from the Great Harlot (America), this will help to spur the implementation everywhere of the “mark-number” system of controlled economy. For their part, China and Europe can use their financial and media influence to pave the way for the Antichrist to rise in Russia and exalt him into demagogue status in the eyes of the world.
In the meantime, nations will decide which way to turn: remain loyal to the declining power or switch allegiance and team up with the rising power? The following news excerpt makes note of this:
Which countries are pursuing an independent path. . . a re-orientation towards a China-focussed set of arrangements. To me that focus includes the convergence of the Russian-inspired EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative [BRI]. Implicitly that amounts to understanding that Russian military strength underpins the Eurasian economies even though China is rapidly building up its own military capabilities. It may be a cliché to repeat that trade wars often lead to real wars, but it is clear that the military threat from the West is real, even though its conventional forces are weakening – but current US military doctrine implies moving rapidly to the use of nuclear weapons. (“Infinite QE: Can The Eurozone Always Roll Debt Over?” By Gary Littlejohn, 13 May 2020)
This partnership of the Antichrist and False Prophet “heads”, accompanied by the Russian and China-EU “beasts”, has great potential to capture much of the world’s allegiance and dominion. And that is a major development we can expect to see coming along in the future.
Even though many nations will escape the Antichrist’s military-political conquest, they may yet wind up surrendering to the economic-spiritual conquest of the False Prophet. Thus, a large portion of the world could end up being paralyzed into submission without any physical conquest.
However, even in spite of all this great power, it seems some nations do rebel, notably the “kings of the east” (Daniel 11:44, Revelation 16:12). And this eventually sets the stage for a new war, the Battle of Armageddon. Anyway, that’s a bit far in the future, and beyond the scope of this study.
Another major development: the fall of Western commercial capitalism. The “great harlot” of Revelation 17-18 symbolizes very well a modern empire that is about to collapse – one that has amassed great wealth for herself and then spread her belligerance and cultural decadence all over the world.
Sad to say, these chapters seem to describe the downward spiral of the American empire – the decadent, even oppressive, nature of her influence in the world. Not in days gone by. But in the world of modern times, and probably more so in the near future, America seems to resemble all too well the ominous picture painted in those chapters of the Revelation Book.
As outlined in Revelation 17-18, the “great harlot” will fall in a sudden and catastrophic way (probably at a time when the Antichrist “beast from the sea” and his “ten horns” get fed up with her greed and dominance on the world stage). And so, because of the impending collapse of the capitalist world’s financial system and accompanying disorder, it looks as though the pendulum will swing more to the middle away from laissez-faire principles to a more controlled and regulated economic system.
Citizens depend on their state to provide security. So when days of turmoil come, they are not likely to protest against restrictions on freedom. At such a time a strong leader can arrive on the scene to guarantee protection – whether against terrorist threats, an economic crash, pandemic infection, or whatever emergency might arise – and be welcomed with open arms.
An interesting example in recent history: The Weimar government, which took over from the Kaiser after World War 1, was trying to operate by democratic principles in Germany. But because of too much indecision, internal squabbling, and lack of charismatic leadership, the German people got fed up with it and turned instead to the Hitler strongman who, decisively in the beginning of his rule, solved many of the problems that had gone unresolved during the reign of the Weimar government.
We might foresee a similar scenario among European nations. They will get fed up with weak and ineffective leaders in a world of turmoil and will want to loosen their ties to the American empire and tie up more closely with the authoritarian regimes of Russia and China, who seem to be operating more effectively on the world stage than the American empire.
Thus, we may see a shift in the balance of power between the “iron” and “clay”. What we see now, the present political-economic arrangement, is not exactly how it will appear in the future. The “iron” military presence probably will assert itself more in the new “new world order” of the Antichrist and False Prophet – especially after the collapse of the “great harlot” (described in Revelation 17-18).
But the “clay-earth” forces, who have been sponsoring the Antichrist and his military forces, will still be around (in China and some EU nations, it would appear), and very much a part of the new world government.
In past revolutions, when the “old order” got swept away, that usually meant the owners of wealth were eliminated. That was the old Communist strategy. Rather than try to get the rich on their side, the Communists tried only to get the poor on their side through propaganda – promising to take the wealth of the rich and give it to the poor.
However, under the Antichrist and False Prophet this sharing-the-wealth tactic will operate with a new twist: there will be the same take-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor strategy, but with a smarter approach – win the poor, yes, but without driving away the rich whose capable leadership will be needed to run industries properly and efficiently.
Failing to engage the wealthy was one of the big mistakes made in the Communist revolutions in Russia and China (and in the French Revolution in 1789). After getting rid of the ruling aristocracies, there was no one left who knew how to run the manufacturing and agricultural industries. And these nations suffered economic decline as a result.
During the Nazi revolution in Germany of the 1930s, things happened differently however. Hitler wisely opposed the “dump the capitalist aristocracy” plan that some of his more zealous but less practical followers were advocating. In fact, to make sure that didn’t happen, Hitler murdered the main proponent of that plan along with 200 supporters in that infamous massacre known as “The Night of the Long Knives”. Having thus gained control of Germany’s industrial base without destroying its leadership was a major factor in transforming Germany into a prosperous nation and one that was strong enough to wage war against Europe and America from 1939 to 1945.
The Antichrist and False Prophet’s financial plans are not likely to repeat the mistakes of former Communist Revolutions, or even earlier, the French Revolution – if for no other reason, because the financial bloc, being its own empire (China/EU?), will be sufficiently insulated from its military partner (Russia).
After or during the collapse of the “great harlot”, it will be left to the “beast from the earth” to seize control of a world left in economic shambles, to hold nations hostage and enslave the masses to his “mark” credit system, to regulate them under the watchful eye of computer surveillance and control. Already the infrastructure for this system has been set into place in much of the world.
So a new world order, presided over by the Antichrist and False Prophet, will arise, starting to appear perhaps even before the fall of the “great harlot”. And it may seem benign for a time. As new regimes often do during their rise to power, the new order will rectify many of the problems that had been plaguing the world – particularly, its financial chaos.
Hitler Germany was a good example of a regime that started off well, bringing prosperity and employment, correcting the injustices of the World War 1 Versailles Treaty. But without the love and wisdom of God, that nation soon began to unravel, spiral downwards into a tyranny of hatred, war, and persecution.
Likewise, the new order of the final two Beasts, as a regime that glorifies man and denies God’s presence, will be drawn by the Dark Forces into a final, horrific tailspin.
Like its predecessor the Soviet Union, the new totalitarian regime will be hailed in idealistic terms as the “brave new world” of the future, the progressive utopia long dreamed of by humanistic thinkers of the past and promoted by the False Prophet of the near future.
But such a system cannot survive if it tries to leave God out of the picture. Like the previous communist utopias or Hitler’s Third Reich, it will only collapse – another utopian dream turned into a nightmare – just before the second coming of Christ to rescue mankind from what will have become his lowest state, the worst mess the world has ever been dragged into by the forces of Darkness.
Jesus Himself predicted, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)
On the Religious Level
Earlier in this series (Post 3), it was proposed that the materials of the Daniel 2 “image” were meant to symbolize the “spiritual geography” of empires. If that is the case, then it should be easy to link the new iron-clay regime with some kind of new religion.
And this future scenario has already been covered in previous sections. But just to review: In Revelation 13 we learn how the Dragon, through his two agents (Antichrist and False Prophet), will serve up to the world its new religion – a combination of militaristic demagoguery and materialism. This is not a religion as we usually think of it, but in the modern secular world, since this is what people believe in and devote themselves to, then it would qualify as a “religion”.
The clues about this modern religion are given in the Revelation Book, especially in phrases like “worship the beast/dragon”, “image of the Beast” and “mark of the beast”. Besides being “religious” terms, these also point to certain aspects of modern technology, which are relevant, not to those in olden time, but to us who are familiar with modern inventions – in this case, media communications, computerization, cashless buying and selling. These inventions provide the infrastructure needed to institute the world’s new secular religion; they are the props that facilitate its operation.
Now it so happens that neither the “mark” nor the “image” is the Antichrist Beast’s creation. They are both engineered by the False Prophet Beast; but he does promote them in the name of the Antichrist. So there is quite a mixing here of the two Beasts’ activities on the religious level (in Revelation 13), which seems to match what Daniel’s prophecy says about the mixing of “iron and clay”.
Because of this combination, the resulting spiritual effect has much greater power to capture the loyalties of mankind than if only one Beast were to dominate. And for this reason it looks as though the forces of Darkness are working hard to “mix” these two as much as possible.
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they (iron and clay) shall mingle (or “mix”, same word in Hebrew) themselves with the seed of men.” (Daniel 2:43 – KJV) ◊ The iron and clay mixture happens for an expedient purpose – so that the final world government can more effectively mix in with mankind and rule over the world more completely. It’s like a play on words.
◊ In recent times there has been some speculation about this “mingling” phrase in Daniel 2:43, and many have interpreted this verse as a reference to the mingling of demonic angels with the “seed of men”. To learn more about this subject, refer to Appendix 1 in the study Alien Gospel: Fact or Fiction?
If “iron” only were ruling the world, the masses might feel too much the oppressive weight of a totalitarian society. Myanmar is an example in modern times of a regime that has been all government and military – an “iron” rule. But it is stifling and has caused the nation’s economic growth to stagnate.
On the other extreme, if only “clay” were ruling the world, the masses might become too self-satisfied and decadent, immersed in their materialism (busy worshiping Mammon). Much of western society tends in this direction, and in most of its regimes the “clay” forces seem to have the upper hand.
In this modern world, it would appear that the “clay” component in the Daniel 2 “image” has counteracted the “iron” features inherited from ancient Rome to a large degree. And the future Antichrist regime, in spite of causing the collapse of the “great harlot” of commercial capitalism, will continue to allow the secular religion of materialism to flourish.
If people aren’t interested in worshiping the Antichrist demagogue, they will give him their allegiance anyway just to be able to continue their pursuit of material wealth. So, having in place this balanced “iron and clay” religious framework will provide an effective means of capturing the world’s spiritual loyalties for a time.
In preparation for this last short-lived kingdom of the forces of Darkness, the infrastructure has already been set into place in our modern world. But to hasten its formation, these Dark forces may try to engineer a worldwide emergency of some kind. This will focus attention on a demagogue figure who can restore the world’s economy, as the Scripture in Revelation 13:16 seems to indicate: “He (False Prophet) causes all. . . to receive a mark. . . that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark of the beast (the Antichrist).”
However it happens, to engineer such a great re-organization of the world’s commercial system would likely require the trigger of some dire need or emergency situation that has arisen in the world. Through this upheaval in the world’s economy, the False Prophet could install his new secular religion – materialism combined with demagoguery.
And the nations of the world are well prepared for this. Over the last few centuries, they have built within themselves the iron-clay infrastructure that will allow both the Beast and False Prophet regimes to operate in and rule over them. “They (the “iron and clay” kings and their kingdoms) shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.”
Now that the system, or infrastructure, is in place and has been in operation for some time, this sets the stage for the demagogue leaders – Antichrist and False Prophet – to make their debut. As we learned earlier in Chapter 4, the “beast” and “head” symbolisms are interchangeable. And now that the “beast” (the system) is fully developed, or almost so, then the “head” has the needed platform to make itself known.
Right now we seem to be in that crucial in-between stage. The infrastructure for the “iron and clay” religion is already here. But its objects of worship, the leadership, have not yet arrived.
Nevertheless, during the last century these two “cultures of darkness”– the secular versions of Materialism and Militarism – have manifested themselves and seem to have headquartered themselves in different regions of the world. If and when these two “cultures of Darkness” join forces against their rival, the American superpower, it won’t be long before the religion also arrives in its full manifestation.
The two “heads” (False Prophet and Antichrist) will then come to the fore as demagogue figures before the world and leaders of their respective empires: presumably, Russia representing the Antichrist “beast from the sea”, and China and/or the EU, out of which arises the “beast from the earth” who, like a false prophet, lends its support to the new “emperor”. And the result is the “iron and clay” religious mix of demagoguery and materialism.
(By the way, it helps to remember that the Daniel 2 image” – especially its materials – symbolizes the worship-of-man religions that have come and gone through history. And in the historical period of the “feet”, the End of the Age, this new feature of “clay”, the religion of Materialism, gets mixed in with the “iron”, adding a whole new dimension to the age-old practice of emperor worship.)
In conclusion, the scenarios mentioned above can give some idea of what will come to pass. Of course, it is somewhat speculative, and based on the assumption that the meaning of the symbolisms in Daniel 2 and Revelation 13 have been interpreted correctly.
As time goes on, the picture will become clearer, and adjustments to the above forecasts will, almost certainly, have to be made. But for now, hopefully, this will give a rough and accurate-for-the-time-being picture of what the future holds.