The face of the planet is being changed by hundreds of dazzling infrastructure projects that are simultaneously underway. In Pakistan, a new deepwater port is being linked to a vast rail and highway network. In Laos, a bridge has broken both the world record for the highest bridge pier and the longest span between two piers. In remote Kazakhstan, a bustling town is springing up from scratch around an expansive new rail terminal. In Montenegro, the country’s first border-to-border motorway is being laid through impossible terrain. In Rwanda, a new railway is connecting the landlocked country to Tanzania’s coast. In Peru, a massive new port is transforming the nation into “the gateway from South America to Asia.”
These are just a handful of the hundreds of such projects underway around the world. And astonishingly, all these developments are parts of an initiative by one nation: China.
In 2013, Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping spoke about the ancient Silk Road, the network of trade routes—some established as early as 200 b.c.—that moved goods, ideas and cultures across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Xi then announced “a great undertaking.” China would build a modern Silk Road: the Belt and Road Initiative.
This is what the projects in Pakistan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Rwanda, Peru and more than 100 other nations are all about. China is working furiously to better connect Asia to Europe and beyond. It calls this “the project of the century.” It’s so important that the Chinese have written it into their Constitution.
The initiative consists of a land-based economic “belt” of six corridors linking east and west, and a maritime “road” of ports stretching from the South China Sea to Africa’s east coast. These projects link 60 percent of the global population, span three continents, and extend into Latin America. At an estimated cost of $5 trillion, it is by far the most ambitious infrastructural venture in history.
“The Belt and Road Initiative simply blows out of the water anything else that’s been attempted in human history,” William F. Laurence, research professor at James Cook University in Australia, told Nexus Media. “It’ll affect every facet of human endeavor, in one way or another.”
And it all has one overarching and underpinning purpose: to give China dominance over world trade.
‘The World’s Next Superpower’
As journalist Sam Ellis wrote in April 2018, the Belt and Road is “designed to reroute global trade” to make China “the world’s next superpower.”
And it is not just the Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has also made major trade agreements with myriad nations and has weaponized China’s trade policy and currency alike. The Communist Party has also implemented near total government control over China’s 1.4 billion people, millions of whom work as slaves or in a state close to it, thus enabling China to manufacture at costs that free societies can’t compete with. China has also pushed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, the Global Civilizational Initiative and the Confucius Institute. Like the Belt and Road, these are all organizations and policies designed to transform global trade and cement the Chinese Communist Party’s position at the center of it all.
The results of China’s push have been breathtaking.
Back in 2000, the United States led global trade. More than 80 percent of nations engaged in more trade with America than with China; only 20 percent traded more with China. By 2020, the figures had essentially inverted, with China becoming the number one trade partner for 128 out of 190 countries (infographic, page 18).
More and more analysts are waking up to the reality of this seismic shift in power toward China. But there is something far more momentous about China’s moves toward global dominance that few recognize: It was prophesied in Bible scriptures written thousands of years ago. And now, with the Belt and Road and related trade initiatives underway, these prophecies are being fulfilled.
‘Times of the Gentiles’
Bible prophecy states that the descendants of ancient Israel would become an extremely powerful “nation and company of nations” in the modern era (see Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-5; 22:18; 26:3-5). However, it also stated that if these peoples refused to turn to the God who gave them their power, the world would enter “the times of the Gentiles.” Jesus Christ Himself used this phrase: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
The term “Gentile” refers to peoples who do not descend from ancient Israel. The countries that do descend from Israel include America, Great Britain and the Jewish nation today called Israel. (For a thorough explanation, order your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Britain and then the United States used their global power to bring comparative stability to much of the world. But now the time of Israelite leadership is over, and global power is shifting instead to “Gentile” nations.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has explained that the main powers in “the times of the Gentiles” are a European bloc led by Germany, a Middle Eastern alliance led by Iran, and a great Asian confederacy led by Russia and China.
“We are deep into the times of the Gentiles already,” he wrote in our October 2023 issue. “You can see it happening. Look at Iran. Look at Europe especially, and at Asia. The times of the Israelite powers are over!”
The fact that mankind has now entered the times of the Gentiles is a major event!
One area where we can see clear evidence of it is in the Belt and Road and related initiatives. All the ports, railways, roads, bridges, banks and other projects are helping to shift global power away from Israelite nations such as America and toward Gentile nations such as China. All the economic power that China is acquiring is already being translated into military power.
“At the broadest level, economic strength is critical for military strength,” said Carolyn Bartholomew, chairman of the Congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “China is channeling its economic strength into rising political influence and military power around the world at a time when other countries perceive that the U.S. is in retreat.”
The Belt and Road and associated projects are also intimately connecting China to the German-led Gentile power. This development too was foretold in Bible prophecy.
‘Mart of Nations’
Some 2,700 years ago, God inspired the Prophet Isaiah to prophesy of a multinational trade alliance that would form in the modern age. He described it as a powerful “mart of nations” (Isaiah 23:3).
Verse 1 in this chapter says one of the leading nations in this trade bloc is “Chittim.” Mr. Flurry explains in his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision (request a free copy) that Chittim, sometimes spelled Kittim, is an ancient name referring to modern China: “Genesis 10:4 lists the sons of Japheth’s fourth-born son: ‘The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim’ (New King James Version). Kittim is synonymous with the Chittim of Isaiah’s prophecy. … After their migration through Central Asia, the Kittim made their appearance in modern-day northeastern China and Mongolia under the name of Khitan in the fourth century a.d. ….”
Isaiah 23 names “Tyre” as the other main power in this mart of nations. Mr. Flurry explains that this city represents “the commercial center” of modern Europe. He writes: “The spiritual center of the [modern European] Holy Roman Empire is called Babylon in your Bible (Revelation 17:5; 18:1-3). But here in Isaiah, the Bible refers to Tyre (and its allies Zidon, etc) as the commercial center of this European power. By understanding the spiritual and the commercial powers, you can understand what a colossus is rising in Europe” (ibid).
An associated prophecy in Ezekiel 27 uses ancient names for Russia and Japan, showing that they will also participate in this enormous trade bloc.
Clearly, this is a prophecy of an enormous end-time trade alliance between Europe and Asia!
Modern China’s increasing dominance of world trade, which is happening largely because of the Belt and Road and related projects, positions China to play a lead role alongside a German-led Europe in this colossal mart of nations. Prophecy shows that China will soon be “trading mightily with the Holy Roman Empire,” Mr. Flurry writes.
To see China and Europe linked in these Bible prophecies about the end time—and then to see the Belt and Road and related economic initiatives linking them today—is astounding. It shows that the powerful “mart of nations” Isaiah warned about millenniums ago is forming now!
Even more astounding is what the Bible reveals that this “mart of nations” will accomplish in the years ahead.
Superpower Under Siege
A study of Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27 shows that one major nation is noticeably absent from this prophesied trade alliance: America. Why? Because the mart of nations is designed to rival the U.S. It is welded together and propelled forward by anti-American ambitions. And the scriptures show that the anti-Americanism of the mart of nations will soon drive it to far beyond economic competition and into a ruthless attack on the U.S.
“The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged,” Mr. Flurry writes (ibid). He explains that this history-altering siege will be against not just the U.S. but also its allies and fellow descendants of ancient Israel: the United Kingdom and the Jewish nation called Israel. And the siege will be accomplished by the “mart of nations” countries mentioned in Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27. “All of them are going to besiege America, Britain and the Jewish nation,” he writes (ibid).
“China and the giants of Asia,” he continues, will form a “brief alliance” with the European power. “Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations ….
“This is why Isaiah’s prophecy of an end-time ‘mart of nations’ that includes both European and Asian powers is so intriguing. And why the trend of collusion between these two great economic blocs is worth watching.”
Mr. Flurry also draws special attention to another focal point of the Belt and Road: Latin America. He discusses Bible-based prophecies by the late educator Herbert W. Armstrong about the role this region will play in end-time events. “Herbert Armstrong long prophesied, and we expect, the alliance between Europe and South America to grow extremely strong” (ibid). Europe already wields considerable influence in several Latin American nations, thanks in large part to their shared religions and languages, and because during the Obama administration, the U.S. explicitly abandoned the Monroe Doctrine, which had opposed the intervention of European powers in the Americas. And the influence of China, thanks largely to the Belt and Road and related initiatives, is rapidly growing there too. Once China enters its economic alliance with Europe, the huge spheres of influence that China is now building in Latin America will translate by proxy into even stronger European control over the region.
Mr. Flurry points out that the situation will eventually lead to the Europeans subjugating Latin America. “[I]t will not be a union of equals. The Latin American countries will become vassal states to Europe!” (ibid).
With this domination over Latin America, the European and Asian powers will be geographically positioned to lay siege to the United States. Mr. Flurry continues: “With a German-led Europe … possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and on the south by Latin America.”
Deuteronomy 28:52 provides more details about the siege of the U.S. and United Kingdom by the mart of nations alliance: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” Back when God was actively blessing the U.S. and the UK, He gave them control over numerous sea “gates” around the world, including the Panama Canal, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Singapore, the Port of Darwin and the Maldives (see Genesis 22:17; 24:60). But now every one of these strategic locations is under China’s control or quickly heading in that direction.
Controlling these sea gates will streamline the movement of Asian and European vessels around the globe and enable the anti-U.S. forces to constrict the movement of American merchant and military vessels. This will play a major role in the siege.
‘In the Fire’
Prophecies in Ezekiel 4 and 5 provide more vital information about the coming siege against the U.S. and its allies. Notice the strange instructions God gives to the prophet: “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel [primarily America and Britain] upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 4:4-5).
God is extremely specific here. He hopes to make the suffering of His people as minimal as possible, but it must be extreme enough to cause them to turn to Him. This passage shows that America and Britain will be besieged for exactly 390 days.
Verses 6 to 8 describe a parallel siege of only 40 days against the “house of Judah,” referring to the Jewish nation in the Middle East that is today called the State of Israel. Both sieges will end on the same day, after which the attack on the U.S., UK and Israel will enter a far more destructive phase. In his book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet (request a free copy), Mr. Flurry explains: “The siege against the Jews will begin 350 days after the siege against America and Britain has begun. Both sieges end at the same time, when all three nations are invaded militarily.”
The flow of the story continues into Ezekiel 5, in which God warns that widespread civil unrest and rioting will engulf the cities of America, exacerbated by the European-Asian economic siege. Verses 1 to 4 show that the cities will burn “in the fire” and that hundreds of millions of Americans and others will die.
“The U.S. and other Israelite nations are surrounded or besieged by fierce and often unfair competition,” Mr. Flurry writes. “As the U.S. and Britain become less and less competitive worldwide, unemployment will steadily increase. … The United States and Britain are going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Asia, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce. These nations of Israel are going to be literally besieged—economically frozen out of world trade!” (ibid).
As flames engulf the cities, the economic siege comes to an end and the invasion begins. “When the siege ends, then comes the attack, so the situation gets far worse,” Mr. Flurry writes. “The siege of these three nations leads to an attack that will leave cities without inhabitant!” (ibid).
The importance of China’s growing dominance over world trade, its efforts to marginalize America, and its strengthening links to Europe is revealed in these Bible prophecies.
The nations of Asia and Europe are growing more powerful and better connected to each other. Control over the world’s sea gates is increasingly in their hands. This is all setting the scene for the prophesied siege against the United States, the United Kingdom and the State of Israel—and the subsequent invasion by a European superpower.
These developments point to a stunningly grim future for America and its allies. But the mart of nations and the looming conflict associated with it confirm the prophecies of the Bible.
What else, then, does the Bible prophesy of—just beyond this economic siege, and the invasion and fall of the U.S. and Britain? The most hope-filled and peaceful era in human history! In Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, Mr. Flurry writes: “[T]hat trading partnership won’t last long. Soon they will clash, just before Jesus Christ returns and destroys both of them.” Jesus Christ is going to return to Earth, put an end to mankind’s hatred and destruction, and usher in an age of peace and prosperity for the peoples of China, Europe, the U.S. and all the world!
“Thank God,” he then writes, “there is great news beyond the bad news.”