The Bible has an even more specific warning, and it is close to being fulfilled.
Isaiah 23 discusses three ancient powers: Tyre, Tarshish and Chittim (verse 1). Isaiah 30:8 says that Isaiah wrote his book “for the time to come.” These are prophecies primarily for “the latter day,” which is our time now. Thus the three powers mentioned in Isaiah 23:1 must have modern significance for us today. Who do these three represent?
The answer powerfully confirms the Bible’s accuracy in foretelling world events.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry outlines the identity of these three powers in his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.He notes that the spiritual heart of the modern-day European power “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.” Tyre was the great trading center of the Middle East. Many prophecies in the Bible refer to the rising European power as a commercial behemoth: Isaiah 23 compares it to Tyre.
Isaiah 23:1 goes on to discuss the “ships of Tarshish.” “Herbert W. Armstrong’s Ambassador College taught over 40 years ago that Tarshish is Japan in Bible prophecy for today,” writes Mr. Flurry. “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 chapter goes on to talk about how the ships of Tarshish come from “the isle,” which refers to the islands of Japan.
The third power singled out here is Chittim. Mr. Flurry explains, “This biblical name refers to both the island of Cyprus and to the nation of China, whose progenitors first populated Cyprus and gave it its name.”
The three powers enumerated here refer exactly to the three powers we see working on a new trade relationship!
Isaiah 23:3 talks about these powers forming a “mart of nations.” The chapter describes “merchants” that “pass over the sea” (verse 2). It discusses “great waters,” or oceans (verse 3), as well as merchants and “traffickers” that are so rich that they are like “princes” and “the honourable of the earth.” Mr. Flurry explains: “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 the 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.”
Mr. Flurry first wrote about this “mart of nations” in 2010. Back then, China’s trade with Europe was a fraction of what it is today. There was little sign of this relationship—and no sign of Japan being included. We are not reading this meaning into the prophecy after the event; Mr. Flurry forecast it all in advance.
This alliance is rising as America’s power shrinks. America is isolated and vulnerable to this alliance.
The “trend of collusion” is here. How long before this economic superpower, this “mart of nations,” locks together?
As Mr. Flurry wrote, this mart is deadly for America. The Bible is full of warnings about the immediate future, and not just for the United States. Matthew 24:22 warns that this mart will blockade the United States, which will trigger a war that will wipe out almost the entire population of the Earth.
But there is also great hope in proving the Bible’s reliability in forecasting end-time events. Matthew 24:22 tells us Christ will intervene, cutting the war short. The Bible contains great hope for everyone still alive and for those who have died. Once you have proved its reliability for yourself, you can be secure in relying on that hope.