Friday, September 2, 2011

Why China is getting tough, and what it means for prophecy

Yesterday I read a good article in The Diplomat, an international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region. It offers analysis and commentary on events occurring in Asia and around the world, on Geo-political trends throughout the Asia-Pacific, defense and intelligence, environment, human security and development etc. The title is "Why China is Getting Tough" and offers an incisive analysis of the recent aggressive stance that China has adopted. They report, "In recent months, China has adopted an increasingly aggressive posture across the Asia-Pacific region – from provoking fights with neighbours in the South China Sea, to introducing provocative new military systems, to holding joint military exercises with Pakistan on India’s border. Why now?"

Good question. Why is China getting tough now? Several reasons. Remember, nature abhors a vacuum, and there does exist a vacuum in the Asia-Pacific theater.

"China’s regional environment has grown more accommodating this year as Japan and the United States have become increasingly unable to fulfil their traditional roles of balancing Chinese power in the Asia-Pacific. Tokyo’s troubles began when a number of public scandals led to growing dissatisfaction with the Kan administration."

Second, "The onset of the Arab Spring, meanwhile, forced yet another US administration to turn its attention to the Middle East at the expense of the Asia-Pacific, a trend exacerbated by the decision to intervene militarily in Libya." So the vacuum deepens...

Further, "Developments elsewhere in the region also seem to be working in China’s favour. For example, the so-called reset in US-Russia relations has steadily deteriorated in recent weeks... Despite stamping out calls for a Jasmine Revolution, the Chinese government continues to face an unsettling domestic situation..." and it is true that oppressive governments that face trying times at home often foment external situations to claim their attention and rally the populace, such as military incursions.

The article goes into good detail in a readable way, so I recommend reading the full article.

All this to say, that in the time of the end (The Tribulation) we know that the Kings of the East become a major military force. As Bible.org says so well, "One of the significant developments of the twentieth century is the political and military awakening of the Orient. The great nations of Asia east of the Euphrates River, slumbering for centuries, are now beginning to stir and to become a major factor in the international situation. The geographic immensity and the millions of humanity involved make it inevitable that any future development embracing the entire world must take the Orient into consideration."

Israel and the Orient have had little dealings with each other. In fact, China and Japan and Korea were and still are in some cases very insular. It was quite a surprise in 1941 when Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor. China, despire having 'opened' to the world recently, is still inscrutable. South Korea is a closed country.

Bible.org goes on to say "Two important passages in Revelation, namely, 9:13-21 and 16:12-16 contribute to the conclusion that one of the large armies employed in the final world conflict will be a military force of great power which comes from the Orient. The first intimation of this is found in Revelation 9 where it is recorded that John:

"heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 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: and I heard the number of them..." (verses 13-16). Though there were not two hundred million people on earth at John's time, now China has two hundred million in their army.

The passage goes on to describe the character of this army and the conclusion that one-third of the men were killed in the resulting military struggle. "A later development in prophetic fulfillment is portrayed in the sixth vial described in Revelation 16:12-16. There it is recorded, “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” (Revelation 16:12). Revelation 16:14 reveals that this movement is part of a world-wide gathering of “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” in order that they might participate in “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Grant Phillips asks, "Are We in the Last Days?" "Some prophecies of the last days to consider in answering our question are weather patterns, the economy, society, placement of countries who will come against Israel, modern day technology that provides the means for fulfillment of end-time prophecies, but especially those concerning the State of Israel. In addition to all this though, the beginning Scripture passage of this article should answer this prevailing and burning question. Are we in the last days? If we are now seeing signs that are preparation indicators for the Tribulation, can the Tribulation be that far off? Since the Rapture precedes the Tribulation, then obviously it would be even closer."

It is the $64,000 question. Actually, it is the priceless question. It is the eternal question. Get ready. He is coming, whether you are ready or not.

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