The New Silk Road

Aslab

The New Silk Road

Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River. Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops. – Revelation 9:14-16

Revelation 16:12-16

 12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.

 13 And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.

 14 They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God the Almighty.

 15 “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

 16 And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon.

The Chinese civilization is almost 5 millennia old, dating back to 4500 BC. “The Chinese have never been aggressive conquerors of other nations or people, but they have a history of being extremely aggressive in defense of their country and the imperial control of Chinese territory and peoples” (N. W. Hutchings). Any militancy has been limited to areas that are part of the hegemony of “greater China.”

Since the invasion of Europe by the Mongols in the 13th century, the great nations of Asia east of the Euphrates River have been slumbering for centuries. That began to change in the 20th century. The enormous landmass and population, over 4 billion people, will impact the future development of the entire world.

In the 21st century, China has emerged as an international economic superpower. China has also poured billions into revamping its military, in line with President Xi Jinping’s ambitions to transform the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a fully modernized, “world-class” fighting force by 2050.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI, sometimes referred to as the “New Silk Road,” is a massive infrastructure and economic enterprise that will stretch from East Asia to Europe. It is scheduled for completion in 2049, the Centennial of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the world.

China the formally sleeping giant is awake. Where is this mammoth geopolitical, economic power headed and what are its ambitions? It intends to create a Sinocentric international trade network that will facilitate China’s greater leadership role in global affairs commensurate with its rising power and status.

When the Scriptures were written, China was unknown to the Middle Eastern world. The name China did not exist, much like the term United States. Most prophecy regarding future events centered around Israel, the ancient Roman empire, and nation groups nearby.  

REFLECT & PRAY

Revelation 22:20 Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Father thank You that You are in control of history and have planned it all out in advance. Your prophets and apostles have given us snippets of things to come. Encourage us to be focused and faithful no matter what.

INSIGHT

Several books of the Bible speak of future warfare in the Middle East with Israel at the epicenter. Among them are Daniel, Ezekiel, Matthew, Luke, and Revelation. Battlegroups from the North, the South, the West, and the East will be engaged in what has come to be called the battle of Armageddon.

Could it be that China is referenced as part of an oriental Confederacy or Asian power block known as the Kings of the East?

Revelation 16:12-16

 12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.

 16 And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon.

A road built ostensibly for trade and commerce can also be used for military forces and weapons of war. How large is this envisioned armed force?

Revelation 9:14-16

 14 And the voice said to the sixth angel who held the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River.”

 15 Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth.

 16 I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.

Is it possible that any nation or group of nations could field an army of 200 million troops? In the first century AD, it was unthinkable to imagine an army so vast. It is estimated by historians that the entire world population was less than 200 million in 95 AD when John wrote the book of Revelation. In 1906, H.B. Swete in his commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John wrote, “These vast numbers forbid us to seek a literal fulfillment, and the description which follows supports this conclusion” (Swete).

If this is actually an army of 200 million, it would be the largest armed force ever known to man. 2000 years later things have changed. In the 21st century, the current population of China is 7 times that number. In The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey postulated that due to China’s vast population, it could indeed field such a large army.

Astonishingly, Time Magazine published an article on May 21, 1965 (p. 35) that Red China announced that it had a standing militia army of 200 million. Is that simply a coincidence? Or is it a wake-up call? Like the old Fox News slogan, we report you decide, the choice is yours.

The 200 million troops in the vision are mounted on horses. But the “horses” are very strange in appearance.

Revelation 9:17 And in my vision, I saw the horses and the riders sitting on them. The riders wore armor that was fiery red and dark blue and yellow. The horses had heads like lions, and fire and smoke and burning sulfur billowed from their mouths.

What did the apostle John see in his vision? Did he see horses as we know them, or did he see something quite different?

Whatever he saw they were very strange, unfamiliar, and extraordinary. We simply cannot explain and define the inexplicable. We simply do not know.

This Reflection is somewhat different because it deals with the mysterious events not yet fully understood found in the visions of the book of Revelation.

But there are several salient facts we can take away from these prophecies. There is a very large army of 200 million that marches from the East to the Euphrates River. Angels and demonic spirits are at work in the events that play out on earth. The River Euphrates dries up so that the army can pass over it on its way to Israel and the battle of Armageddon. During this long march, the Kings of the East will kill one-third of the world’s population.

These predicted events are beyond our understanding. Many of them are not only incomprehensible but are seemingly impossible. But things that are impossible for people confined to the space-time continuum, are possible with the Father Who exists apart from time as we know it. He enters into space-time whenever He so desires and accomplishes the impossible. He is the Lord God omnipotent (Revelation 19:6).

But there is more. The Father intentionally had the writers of His Word include things that could not be understood when they were written. Only at the end of time would they be more thoroughly scrutinized, researched, and their mysteries revealed.

Daniel 12:4 Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will diligently peruse it, and knowledge will increase.

Could the prophesied Kings of The East be an Asian power block, an oriental confederacy on the rise in the 21st century? We simply do not know.

But it is amazing to think that a 2000-year-old prophecy regarding end-time events seems to line up with the current geopolitical and economic power swings of the 21st century.

¯\_()_/¯

2 thoughts on “The New Silk Road

  1. Excellent! Timely, full of background information that helps us understand up-to-the-minute news reports, but leaves us with the calm assurance that nothing can take our Father by surprise.

    Like

  2. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

    Like

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