China: King of the Kings of the East
It is a very common belief that the Chinese economy is doomed to forever trail America. They are the nation that produces much of the junk we buy at places like Wal-Mart. If the U.S. should stumble, China would have no place to sell all its goods.
This old economic formula is rapidly becoming outmoded. China 's trade with the rest of the world has exploded in the last few decades. Its largest trading partner is now the EU. The U.S. only amounts to 23 percent of its export market.
China has seen stunning growth in its economy. Since 1992, GDP in the red giant has grown 9.1 times, going from 2 trillion yuan to 18.2 trillion yuan. While the rest of the world is trying to recover from recession, China is trying to slow its economy down. It overtook Germany in 2007 as the third-largest economy and is expected to unseat Japan as No. 2 behind the United States as early as this year. Its trade boom has helped Beijing pile up the world's biggest foreign currency reserves at more than $2 trillion.
The Chinese were already rapidly catching up with the U.S. The fallout from the housing bubble helped that nation leap ahead in spectacular fashion. In 2009, China set three very import milestones:
1. China edged past Germany in 2009 to become the top exporter. Total 2009 exports were more than $1.2 trillion. That was ahead of the $1.17 trillion forecast for Germany by its foreign trade organization.
2. China is now the world’s largest auto market after its vehicle sales jumped 46 percent, ending more than a century of American dominance that started with the Model T Ford. It was a nightmare year for Detroit. U.S. auto sales were down 21 percent, and GM and Chrysler both declared bankruptcy.
3. Chinese banks now rank in the top four slots as the highest-valued banks in the world. China Merchants Bank, China Citic, ICBC, and China Construction Bank lead the list. Thanks to the financial meltdown, the U.S. only has two banks in the top ten.
The shift of economic power from West to East is very important to Bible prophecy. China is the only nation that can fulfill a key passage in Revelation 9:
"Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand (200 million): and I heard the number of them" (Revelation 9:14-16).
When John wrote this prophecy in the first century AD, there weren't even 200 million people on planet earth. For centuries, it was a mystery to some people how the Bible could be talking about an army of 200 million soldiers.
The human population exploded in the twentieth century. When China 's population neared the one billion mark, end-time writers realized that John's vision was true. In the early '80s, I remember being fascinated by Hal Lindsey's Late Great book that mentioned how it was now possible for China to field an army of this size.
There was still one problem with China being the kings of the East. China may have had the manpower, but it lacked the ability to outfit such a large military force. It takes a nation of economic might to organize a large army. For centuries, China was so feeble that it was unable to fend off a host of colonial powers.
The solution came with the Chinese economic miracle. It is the only communist nation on earth that has been able to prosper. Where once stood mud huts, one can now find modern cities that have so many skyscrapers they put cities like New York and Chicago to shame.
All China needs now is for the four demonic angels to come set them marching westward.
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Revelation16:12).
Israel Betrayed by U.S.?
Israel today stands in the bull's eye of rage. This is true in the case of being targeted by the Jewish state's perennial antagonists, the Arab and Persian Islamist enemies. It is true in the case of the entire international community, whose constituent nations see Israel as the congestive blockage to regional and world peace. But it is the growing antagonism by United States presidential administration operatives that is most disconcerting while this troubled planet wobbles toward a time of unprecedented trouble.
As a matter of fact, that coming time of unparalleled strife that will bring all nations to Armageddon is termed "the time of Jacob's trouble" by Isaiah the prophet: "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7a).
And, it is Jacob's trouble--the prophesied end-of-days dastardly treatment of Israel by the nations of earth--that will cause the God of heaven to bring them to Armageddon. This is what the prophet Joel foretells: "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land" (Joel 3:2).
This will be the gathering of the nations of earth predicted in the book of Revelation:
"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty...And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:14, 16).
This will be the culmination of mankind's dealing treacherously with God's chosen people, the Jews. The promise made to Abraham by the Lord includes severe repercussions for anyone who would curse the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3).
God's declaration is most dramatically validated by looking at twentieth-century history. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime made hatred of and genocide against the Jew their focus of the unalloyed evil they spewed. The ashes of the Fuhrer and of his Nazi colleagues are scattered in ignominious disgrace across the landscape that Josef Goebbels and the Nazi propagandists arrogantly boasted would be über alles the all-powerful homeland for their thousand-year Reich.
Any consideration in research of Germany's history involving the last two years of World War II and the years immediately following that most terrible of earth's conflicts to that point must acknowledge that it was as if the very wrath of God was upon the nation. Such documentation includes black-and-white film footage of German men and women forced by Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower to walk by the skeletal remains of thousands of Jewish corpses--thus, Eisenhower stated, so that the German people and the world would never forget the Holocaust. It's aftermath would forever be recorded.
Yet today, even mainstream news journalists are observably fuzzy-minded in consideration of the genocide that took perhaps six million Jewish lives as well as the lives of other peoples. They show their loss of memory by not jumping full-force down the throats of diabolists like Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who regurgitates the lie that the Holocaust is a fable conjured by the Jews of the world. Rarely is there a repudiation of such blatant lies coming from the would-be destroyers of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
Tragically, the refusal to educate generations subsequent to the time of World War II on the truth about the insane treatment of the house of Israel is leading to a future time of even greater atrocities, thus judgment, according to God's prophetic Word. The God of heaven will react violently--according to Bible prophecy--more violently, even, than He reacted to the death-dealing of the Nazi demoniacs:
"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it... it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem" (Zechariah 12:1-3, 29).
We come to the question posed by this article's title: "Israel Betrayed by U.S.?" The article's title is in the form of a question because like so much of this American administration's dealings, the "transparency" presidential candidate Barack Obama and then President Obama promised is not forthcoming. Obama's intended dealing with Israel is wrapped in an impenetrable fog of political doublespeak. Here is a news brief to begin pointing out the administration's not-so-transparent thinking regarding U.S./Israeli relationship for the future:
"US President Barack Obama's special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, threatened late last week to withhold financial aid to Israel if the Jewish state does not accept demanded concessions to get the stalled peace process back on track" ("Obama Admin Threatens to Withhold Aid to Israel," Headline News, 1/10/10).
Next week, we will look into whether America, the nation almost certainly brought into existence to stand with His chosen people during Israel's rebirth into modernity, is leading the way into setting up the worldwide anti-Israel marginalization prophesied by Zechariah.