The Global Power Struggle—Who Will Win?
“THE Soviets’ main aim was to force us to drop S.D.I. [Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”)]. I think . . . Mr. Gorbachev understands we have no intention of doing so.” So said U.S. President Reagan after the Geneva conference in November 1985.
As you know, in the year since then the rivalry between these superpowers has gone on. But there are many nations aligned with or sympathetic to these, forming the East (mainly communistic group) and the West (usually capitalistic group). This makes it a global power struggle. So you are involved. Furthermore, the arms race perpetuates the threat of a superwar, menacing your future—even if you live in a nonaligned country.
You should, therefore, be interested in the outcome of the power struggle. Will there be a peaceful solution? If not, who will win? Your knowing that can affect your future.
How It Began
Many books on modern history suggest that the present rivalry between East and West started soon after World War II ended. However, Bible history indicates that it is the continuation of a struggle for world leadership that began nearly 2,300 years ago.
If you have read the history of ancient Greece, you know that Alexander the Great made that nation an empire. This was foretold by the Bible prophet Daniel. True to the prophecy, after that “mighty king” died in 323 B.C.E., the empire was eventually “divided toward the four winds”—among four of his generals. (Daniel 11:2-4) Of these, Seleucus I Nicator took control of Syria and Mesopotamia—territories north and east of Daniel’s homeland, Judah. Ptolemy Lagus, another Greek general, took over Egypt and Palestine, which placed him south and west of Seleucus Nicator’s domain. Their relative positions made them “king of the north” and “king of the south,” respectively.—Daniel 11:5, 6.
“North” and “south” became symbolic of powerful nations that filled certain prophetic roles.* Over the centuries, different nations have filled the roles of the two “kings”; but these nations have always fitted the prophetic identities. They have always been recognized by their rivalry, while usually controlling territories relatively north and south of each other.
Today those roles correspond with the designations “East” and “West.” These, too, are symbolic terms, since the territories overlap. The Biblical designations “north” and “south” are equally appropriate symbols despite similar overlapping.
The God of “the King of the North”
Looking forward to “the time of the end,” Daniel said that “the king of the north” would “magnify himself above every god,” giving “no consideration” to “the God of his fathers.” He would, instead, give glory to “the god of fortresses . . . by means of gold . . . silver . . . precious stone and . . . desirable things” before coming “all the way to his end.”—Daniel 11:35-39, 45.
Being primarily atheistic, today’s “king of the north” denies the existence of God and has often suppressed religion. He depends more on armaments and militarism than on other ways of exerting international influence. So he uses much of his financial resources to “give glory” to “the god of fortresses.” In comparison, while the modern “king of the south” also glorifies armaments and militarism, he recognizes other gods, and many of his people have a strong religious involvement.
The Modern-Day Power Struggle
Pinpointing events of our day, the prophecy says: “In the time of the end the king of the south will engage with [the king of the north] in a pushing, and against him the king of the north will storm with [military equipment]; and [the king of the north] will certainly enter into the lands and flood over and pass through.”—Daniel 11:40.
You are probably aware that since World War II the ideology and control of “the king of the north” have been spread over much territory, despite wars fought to prevent this. How far he will succeed in ‘entering into the lands and flooding over and passing through’ is yet to be seen; but the modern “king of the south” has tried to hinder his encroachments into the so-called free world. Thus these antagonists engage in “a pushing” that has now developed into the accelerated arms and space race. Meanwhile, they accuse each other of wanting to rule the world.
Daniel further says: “He [the king of the north] will actually rule over the hidden treasures . . . and over all the desirable things of Egypt. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians will be at his steps.” (Daniel 11:43) This may refer to natural resources; and the modern “king of the north” does control territories with an abundance of mineral resources, including oil. He also has strong influence in territories outside his domain that have rich natural resources. All of us have reason to watch with interest whether he will get greater control of these and how far his economic influence will reach.
Who Will Win?
What, though, restrains these ‘kings’ from an outright final war? One major factor is that they dread the mutual destructiveness of their nuclear arms. They prefer to negotiate agreements, even though these are rarely honored. As Daniel foretold: “At one table a lie is what they will keep speaking. But nothing will succeed, because the end is yet for the time appointed.”—Daniel 11:27.
So you likely want to know, What will finally happen? Will they eventually negotiate lasting peace? Or will one defeat the other? According to the prophecy in God’s Word, the answer to both questions is, No! Why? Because a third king will defeat them and take over world control. So there will be a change of rulership—soon!
For example, the expression “there must stand up in his position” refers to taking up the role of “the king of the north.”—Daniel 11:20, 21.
[Picture on page 4]
MILITARY POWER OF MAJOR NATIONS AND BLOCKS
Bombers and fighter planes