In Isaiah 22 we have seen where Satan destroyed God’s Work, and then it was raised back up by the very elect. But following that scene, Satan and the Holy Roman Empire destroy three nations of biblical Israel: America, Britain and Judah (the Jewish nation in the Middle East).
Holy Roman Empire Destroyed
Isaiah 23 discusses the destruction of the destroyer of Israel—the Holy Roman Empire. But whom does God use to destroy it? Russia, China and Japan ally themselves and do that deed. They are called the kings of the east.
“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). God dries up the Euphrates River so these massive Asiatic armies (200 million soldiers; Revelation 9:16) can cross to attack the Holy Roman Empire and its allies. Only the kings of the east could amass such an army.
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 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” (Revelation 16:13-14). The Holy Roman Empire worships the devil (Revelation 13:4) and it is infested with demons. The good news is this is all leading these nations to their final war! Why final? Because it is against Almighty God!
And guess who wins. In the Valley of Jehoshaphat, blood is up to the horses’ bridles for 200 miles!
What a bloody ending!
So the kings of the east are greatly afflicting the Holy Roman Empire at that time. It is recorded in Isaiah chapter 23. “The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them” (verse 1). The spiritual center of the 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.
Russia and China understand that reality far better than America and Britain do. The kings of the east know what Germany has done in recent wars. They also know the Germans have many U.S. nuclear bombs stored in their country, which the Germans could (and Mr. Armstrong believed they would) take and use as their own.
Russia remembers how it suffered when Germany attacked in World War ii, and it is nervous about what is happening in Europe today. Still, Russia and America are going to make the colossal mistake of trusting Germany again.
“Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste” (Isaiah 23:14). Herbert W. Armstrong’s Ambassador College taught over 40 years ago that Tarshish is Japan in Bible prophecy for today. So this verse is referring to the supertanker fleet of Japan. Even in 1980, you could see one of these tankers every 25 miles on the high seas. The Japanese are the inhabitants of the “isle,” or island, of Japan (verse 2).
This powerful nation belongs to a mart of nations (verse 3), including Europe. And what a dynamic market of nations it is. All of them are going to besiege America, Britain and the Jewish nation. The Gentiles have most of the oil. But the U.S. guzzles a huge percentage of it.
Chittim (verse 1; biblical Kittim—Genesis 10:4) gave birth to the land of Chaldee, or southern China. China and Japan were prophesied to be powerful nations in this end time (see “Who Is Chittim?”). They are trading mightily with the Holy Roman Empire and suffer greatly when it collapses.
I believe that these modern economic powers help to prove what Ambassador College taught about these nations many years ago. God intended that we know who most of these nations are today.
Mighty modern powers like Japan and China had to be mentioned in end-time prophecy!
“Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?” (Isaiah 23:8). Businessmen of the Holy Roman Empire are becoming the honorable of the Earth (Revelation 18:3).
All of this is fulfilling God’s purpose (Isaiah 23:9-11). The “daughter of Tarshish” (verse 10) is Japan today. The word daughter shows how these prophecies are dual.
Two great trading blocs are positioning themselves to control the world. Both power conglomerates are discussed in Daniel 11:40-45 and in Isaiah 23. But that trading partnership won’t last long. Soon they will clash, just before Jesus Christ returns and destroys both of them.
Let’s briefly look at what they are doing today.
Kings of the North and East
A 2007 Der Spiegel article reported on a spike in the global demand for new ships, explaining that Germany had benefited most from the boom. Especially in the realm of increasingly important container shipping, German companies have become a dominant power. In 2006, German-owned ships had a capacity of over 1 billion 20-foot equivalent units (teu), making Germany’s fleet the largest in the world. China ranked at a distant second with 0.26 billion teu. In conformity to the national mindset, the German companies were not content with the significant margin of their lead, but worked to expand it even further. In recent years, Germans have consistently placed the largest number of orders for all types of new ships. In 2016, the capacity of German container ships was still the largest at over 4 billion teu. China maintained its second place at 1.9 billion teu.
Herbert Armstrong long prophesied, and we expect, the alliance between Europe and South America to grow extremely strong. The most significant factors that will cement this connection are religion and language: Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion of Latin America, and Spanish is the fourth-most spoken language in the world. But it will not be a union of equals: The Latin American countries will become vassal states to Europe!
With a German-led Europe (the king of the north) possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and the south by Latin America. The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged.
That is where China and the giants of Asia enter the picture. When the Holy Roman Empire attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia. In fact, considering that China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates (which, ironically, at one time were held by Britain and America), we believe there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east). 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 and enslave them.
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.
In recent years, the European Union’s economic powerhouse overtook the U.S. and Japan to become China’s biggest trading partner. China and Europe have undertaken myriad joint ventures, including the Galileo global satellite system, which is a direct challenge to American’s gps monopoly in space. Europe and China are also cooperating in nuclear research, motivated in part by the desire to form a strategic alliance as a counterweight to Washington’s nuclear power.
In May 2010, then European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, noting China’s rapidly growing role in the global economy, said Europe wanted to collaborate with China in addressing global problems. ‘’One tree is not enough to build a temple. We need multilateral governance—we need China as a strong partner,” the Polish politician said.
The relationship we see developing between the “king of the north” and the “kings of the east” is exactly what Isaiah prophesied over 2,700 years ago!
Fall and Rise of the Catholic Church
“Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin” (Isaiah 23:13). The land of the Chaldeans (Babylon) is Italy—especially around the area of Rome.
Has Assyria, or Germany, really founded the Catholic Church in this end time? Germany was the strength of Italy in World War ii. Any historian knows that.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot” (verse 15). Tyre refers to the Holy Roman Empire, but specifically here to the Catholic Church, which guides the whole system—religious, political and commercial (Revelation 13:1-12). She shall again “sing as an harlot”—a woman is the symbol of a church.
How was Tyre, or the Catholic Church in this verse, forgotten for 70 years? How did the church lose its power (symbolized by Tyre)?
That 70-year period is 1859–1929. The pope once controlled the states around Rome. In 1859, the Italians wanted to start their own country of Italy. They were trying to get together and unify their country. The pope was using his power to achieve this same goal. But the governments resisted and their attempt fell apart. Then the pope sulked and forbade all Catholics to have anything to do with politics. The next three or four popes would hardly even leave the Vatican.
In 1929, however, the Vatican signed a concordat with Mussolini. The church and state compromised, and the Vatican began to grow in stature and power. Mussolini built the road, which is a beautiful entrance, straight into St. Peter’s Basilica so the world could see its “spiritual” leader.
Then Mussolini allied himself with Germany, and Italy became a world power. This alliance also gave enormous power to the pope. It was all “founded” by Germany. This is how the Vatican became such a force in World War ii.
“And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth” (Isaiah 23:17). The last half of this verse links closely with verses in Revelation chapters 17 and 18. The false church is back in politics and committing spiritual fornication with leaders of countries.
The European Union started as the Common Market in 1954. Its founding document was called the Treaty of Rome. The union was started and continues because of the Vatican’s power. It will soon become a union of 10 kings, guided by the Vatican and empowered by Germany.