“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” (Rev. 16:12).
The kings from the “rising sun” would be aided in their march to the Battle of Armageddon by a supernatural drying up of the river. During the Tribulation period the probability of many oriental nations joining forces to defeat Christ is a great probability, since the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit will be removed with the Rapture of the saints (2 Thess. 2) and in the seven-year period many of these nations will join forces. China, India, Japan, and the Southeast Asian countries total a sizable percentage of the Earth’s population.
Oriental nations have had their impact on the United States especially during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Only the United States is holding China at bay at this time. However, with the removal of the believers at the Rapture, the United States will no doubt suddenly become a third-world country and China will be free to move on the world during the first half of the seven-year period.
The oriental nations have risen from their state of sleeper nations and have tested the resolve of America to remain a free and independent culture. Twice in the twentieth century Japan rose to challenge the Western world in open combat in search of dominance. Although Japan is under the rules of “unconditional surrender” of the 1945 agreement, it remains a sleeper nation.
North Korea challenged the United States in 1950 with the invasion of South Korea in violation of the United Nations mandate. North Vietnam is another regime that challenged the resolve of the United States in defiance of a democratic South Vietnam in the 1960s. Although Russia is considered to be associated with prophecy dealing with the north, she along with China, sided with North Korea and Vietnam by supplying both nations with arms, training, men, and moral support. According to Pew Research, Russians have a 71 percent favorable view of China, the highest of any country, while Japan says they have a 85 percent unfavorable opinion of China (www.pewresearch.org). Recently, Iran joined the military maneuvers with Russia and China who can be considered an Eastern nation. Iran has on many occasions made their position clear—the utter and complete destruction of Jews and Israel. Persia, the modern-day Iran, is listed among the nations that will attack Israel mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39.
If India were to join this coalition, it would certainly fulfill the requirements for the army mentioned in Revelation 16:12. All of these nations are east of the Euphrates River, which will be dried up to allow their armies to gain access to roads that lead to Israel. According to www.nytimes.com the drying up of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers has already begun: “The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, has left fishermen impoverished and has depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.” Whether natural or supernatural, the drying up of the Euphrates River is important in prophecy because it provides a way for the kings of the East to invade the Middle East with Israel the ultimate goal.
However, today’s focus must be on China. China has infiltrated many countries including the United States. Another way to spell China is h-e-g-e-m-o-n-y—complete control and domination of the globe. While Communist China claims to be a ruled by the Communist Party, it is actually a huge capitalist society because communism cannot compete in a world of free market, and they mean to capture the business world. China must overtake the United States in its economy and military might in order to dominate. The way to do this is through technology and trade.
In order to compete and then dominate, they have re-instituted an ancient highway called the Silk Road. China has now reinvented the Silk Road with “The New Silk Road Program” and has given it a modern title of “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), which extends through most of the world’s continents. The OBOR is a system of roads, rails, and seas which establishes new relations with Europe, central, western and southeast Asia, China, and Africa. The OBOR connects 4.4 billion people, or 63 percent of the world’s population. What countries are involved?
The Silk Road has existed for thousands of years, passing through many different empires, kingdoms, reigns and societies throughout history. At certain times in its long history, traders could travel freely along these routes, whereas at others, travel was difficult or dangerous. The Silk Road enriched the countries it passed through, transporting cultures, religions, languages and of course material goods into societies across Europe, Asia and Africa, and uniting them all with a common thread of cultural heritage and plural identities.
China is projected to triple its global assets to $20 trillion by 2020. —www.forbes.com
There are over 40 countries today alongside the historic Land and Maritime Silk Roads, all still bearing witness to the impact of these routes in their culture, traditions and customs. The Silk Road Online Platform presents the variety of Silk Road themes to be found in each of these countries, which can be explored whether choosing a country’s name in the list below here or by clicking on the balloons on the map above. —www.unesco.org
China’s goal is to have all roads lead to Beijing.
The U.S. is trying to catch up with China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with a new project that one expert says will be “a legacy of the administration.” With the creation of a new taxpayer-funded entity called the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which some experts hail as “the most important piece of U.S. soft power legislation in more than a decade,” America is on track to counter China’s colossal project known as the New Silk Road.” … “The problem has been that [U.S. agencies] haven’t really had the means to mobilize resources to compete.” —www.finance.yahoo.com
Much like the original Silk Road, security is a major concern. So what is China doing to protect it? The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as the New Silk Road is now called, requires new measures of security.
The BRI, formerly known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), is gaining momentum. Launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the BRI aims to promote economic development and exchanges between China and more than 65 countries. The BRI consists of rail and energy transmission corridors from China to the European Union (the “belt”) and a series of deep-water ports in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe (the “road”). —www.thediplomat.com
The vastness of the BRI is already causing security concerns. For instance, the $63 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to force Beijing to change its decade-old principle of noninterference. During November of 2015, three Chinese officers from the China Railway in Bamako, Mali, were beheaded by the Islamic State, which did not provoke China into any military intervention. That must change to have future success.
Modern China is now embarking on a path reminiscent of the economic glory found in the times of the Khan. … This “new era” follows a period where China has continued to extend its influence on the world stage under Xi’s leadership. —www.harvardpolitics.com
China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Russia all possess nuclear weapons and a sizable military machine. Quietly, behind the scenes the U.S. Department of Defense states:
… In particular, the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, seeks to reorder the region to its advantage by leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce other nations. —www.defence.gov
In Rome’s heyday, “all roads led to Rome,” but the Roman road gave the world access to Rome, which led to its demise. Will OBOR be a repeat of Rome, or will it lead to the total capture of the entire economic system. This could give way to the Antichrist to ensure complete control of the world’s economic system with the help of the worldwide web as prophesied in Revelation 13:16–17: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Exactly what China’s role will be during the seven-year Tribulation period is not known at this time and will be of no concern to those believers removed from the earth as a result of the Rapture. However, the system being established not only by China but all of the kings of the East will enhance the Antichrist’s ability to quickly take charge.