by Howard Green
The undisputed military and economic superpower in the world has been the sole position of the United States for several decades now. Since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, the US. has had no rival to challenge it. Circumstances are changing rapidly and these changes are evident in a resurgence of Russian power. As quick as Russia’s reemergence on the world stage has been in recent months, there is another nation who is literally changing and challenging the balance of power in the world at this very moment.
China is the nation that has demanded the attention of the West. In this article we will look at two things. First we will look at china’s rapid rise to power and how that affects the stability of the region and the world. Second, we will view China’s rise to power through the lens of Bible prophecy. Ultimately this quest for power will drive China toward a pre-appointed showdown at Armageddon. Let’s look together and answer a very timely question: Is China’s current military buildup prophetic?
There is a massive shift in the geopolitical realm happening right now. Former foes are becoming allies, once cordial relationships are becoming strained, and new agreements are being drafted that have even the most seasoned military analysts shaking their heads in astonishment. This is important to understand because this generation unlike any previous one is witnessing key movements that I believe are laying the groundwork for the ultimate global conflict which is the Battle of Armageddon. The Bible describes a massive coalition moving in from the east toward the nation of Israel. We will look at the ultimate showdown that brings history to a close near the end of this article. First…let’s see why China has the attention of the world:
There is little doubt that China’s current growth both militarily and economically is more than just the natural progression of things. China has been very resolute about becoming the world’s economic powerhouse. As a matter of fact, on October 14th of this year…the IMF reported that China just surpassed the US. as the world’s largest economy. Why is this new designation so pivotal? It is because the continued growth of China’s economy fuels it’s massive military buildup. China’s increasing appetite for natural resources and especially oil has the nation expanding it’s reach far beyond the mainland. The natural resources found in adjacent coastal waters are just what the Chinese need. What we have seen in recent months is tension mounting between China and it’s neighbors and territorial disputes as nations assert their rights over island chains and waterways. US allies including the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan have all been the target of bullying by a robust Chinese navy. The aggressive posture of the Chinese military has the Pentagon worried as well and not without reason. While much speculation remains, some defense analysts project China will match the US. in military strength within 20 years.
As a matter of personal speculation….I don’t believe the US. military will be eclipsed by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) anytime soon, but the threat posed by China is very real and allow me to explain why:
In recent years America has announced a ‘pivot’ toward Asia. This pivot is meant to bolster among other things….US. military dominance in the region and to ensure protection of our allies and interests in Asia. Patience is tried, nerves are frayed, and sabers get rattled on what seems to be a weekly basis now. There have been close calls and provocations by the Chinese. In recent weeks, a Chinese fighter jet passed at very high speed within a few meters of a US. military plane on a routine mission. The Pentagon labeled the incident provocative and reckless. We could go on and on about the blatantly aggressive behavior of the military toward it’s neighbors and the US. Here is the bottom line: In the days ahead and if trends continue…..it will be soon, there will be a miscalculation or a provocation that will set off a chain of events and the result could be a regional conflict or war. Whether the US. will defend it’s allies Japan, Taiwan, or the Philippines against a potential future attack by China is the subject of much speculation. The fact remains…..although China may not be able to defeat the US. military at this time, it can certainly inflict major damage.
China is forging greater military ties with Russia and other US. adversaries. China has engaged in cyber warfare against the US. in numerous ways in recent years. Most notably is the recent “unveiling” of the new Chinese J-20 stealth fighter during the President’s visit to China this week. The unveiling was undoubtably timed during the administration’s visit and this simply serves as another reminder that the PLA and Chinese government is no friend of the US or promoter of stability in the region. China obtained the technology for this stealth fighter by hacking into a defense contractor’s system and stealing the information to make it’s own aircraft.
One other note about the Chinese plans to trump the US. militarily, the communist nation is aggressively planning, producing, and deploying hypersonic weapons. These vehicles can fly at speeds approaching and even exceeding 7,000 mph. They are able to carry nuclear payloads/warheads to their target package at dramatically greater speeds. The end result is a US. missile defense system that isn’t capable of effectively stopping an attack and in all probability be overwhelmed. This puts US. aircraft carriers, land based targets, and our allies at much greater risk than ever before.
So you may ask…..What does a powerful Chinese military have to do with the end time scenario?
China is assuming it’s position as a key player in the culmination of history and the timing of it’s rise is no coincidence. Regardless of what the near future holds in store for the US, one thing is clear. The US. is (not) a key player at the close of the age. I mention this because it seems the US. may be part of a confederacy of nations originating and based in Europe. Perhaps America’s dominance will be reduced by terrorism, war, or a global economic crisis and it would be the natural flow of events to swap it’s sovereignty and belong to a coalition of nations. I believe this coalition of 10 regions (revived Roman Empire) will be the geographical power base of the antichrist.
Ultimately the Chinese….and perhaps other armies from Asia will constitute the kings of the east. The vast army from Asia will move westward, cross the Euphrates River, and move on toward Israel. The news of the advancing army will trouble the evil world leader. Here is the picture the Bible paints for us about the military campaign: The world dictator (antichrist) is in power and….he is speaking blasphemies against the Lord exalt himself above every god. He has dealt with other military challengers and now he hears disturbing news from the east.
Daniel 11:40 “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.
In Revelation 16, John tells us that an angel pours out a bowl on the Euphrates River and it dries up. This will pave the way for the advancing armies from Asia.
Revelation 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
Look at the ultimate destination for the armies from the east and the rest of the armies of the world, they will converge on tiny Israel. The nation of Israel is the geopolitical center of the world. In the end time scenario, we see demonic forces at work, we see the worlds armies gathering for the climax of history, and we see Jesus returning in victory to rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
How close are we to these events taking place?
Only the Lord knows the future and He knows exactly when these things will take place. When we take a realistic look at our world today, it’s not hard to imagine China and others having the ability to move against the armies of the world dictator sometime after he arrives on the scene. Just a few short decades ago….this didn’t seem possible because China was just another emerging if not struggling country stuck in the past. Now with it’s economic dominance, aggressive political posture, and military power…..China appears to be situated for it’s role in the final page of history. Armageddon seems less like a far away event and more like an event that could very well happen in the near future.
As believers, we know who wins in the end…..as they say. We cannot be content to sit back with our hands smugly folded and wait for the world to descend into chaos. The Lord has given us discernment to know that things are not….business as usual. Seeing Asia arming to the teeth, watching the middle east descend into conflict after conflict, and being an eyewitness of our society becoming morally bankrupt should be a call to action. We see signs pointing to the Lord’s return and we must tell the people we come into contact with to get ready. Those of us who love His appearing know that we have little time left to warn others to repent because Jesus is coming back soon.
Keep your eyes on Asia and especially China because we see the players moving into place for an appointment at Armageddon.
* I want to express a note of solidarity and stand with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in light of the evil act of terrorism in Jerusalem this week.
All for Him, Howard