Final Offer: An End-time Rewards Program
An unsettling spectre has been playing out globally in recent years. As has
already been observable for some time, a geo-political power shift has been
underway. In terms of economic clout, Asia and the Middle East have been in ascendancy, rapidly moving into
position as world creditors, as well as becoming leaders in world trade. During
this same period, the European Union has formed itself into a political
counterweight to the United
States. Various so-called non-aligned nations
such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela have found opportunity to
effectively hector the established world power axis at its fringes. If this were
not confusing enough, other types of influence and power have been emerging to
For example, as American and other global financial institutions have recently
again fallen into crises—as they seem to do every 20 years or so—it has been
Middle Eastern and Asian money that has come to the rescue. This seemed so
unlikely both for geopolitical and religious reasons. It wasn’t more than a few
years ago that there was an uproar in America when China wanted to buy Unocal (an
American petroleum company). At the time, a WSJ/NBC poll showed that only
15% of Americans favoured letting China
buy Unocal and only 31% would allow Arab countries to invest in the US at
Yet, how is it that Shar’ia observing nations are the source of money that is
supporting Western-based financial systems? Supposedly, these operate on
principles that are the very antithesis of the teachings of Islam. It is all
very confusing. What is behind all these power shifts?
One thing is for certain, the incentives of money and power seem to be behind
these changes. According to the Bible, it is precisely these elements that play
a role in the emergence of the world’s final power structure. However, before we
further explore these dynamics, a brief overview of the Islamic connection and
the emergence of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWFs) is timely.
What Oils the Situation?
Although they have also existed for some time, it is only lately that Sovereign
Wealth Funds (SWFs) have come into prominence and influence. They
seem to be popping up all over the place, recently
Russia and Saudi Arabia
announcing the formation of several new ones. What are they?
They are country-sponsored investment companies that are growing rapidly.
According to one estimate, they are expected to quintuple in size over the next
10 years, controlling a total of as much as $15 trillion.
and a number of Middle Eastern countries control the largest of the SWFs. But
where is all the money coming from?
It is estimated that two-thirds of all SWF assets were derived from oil and gas
export revenues. That high oil prices should be swelling the treasuries of these
countries (also Russia)
should be no surprise.
Consider that back in 1971, 41% of the world’s energy was supplied by oil. What
is the reliance today? Despite several supply crises since that time, it is 40%
… virtually unchanged. The 12 country members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries) still account for 40% of the world’s oil production and 70%
of its reserves. Almost 4 decades have passed, and this cozy arrangement with
respect to OPEC, the Middle East and oil
Due to the high oil price, money continues to gush into these countries. In
2008, a surplus of $300 billion is estimated for the Gulf
states alone—Kuwait, Qatar,
Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia,
which, incidentally, account for nearly half of the world’s SWF assets. Now we
understand why the SWFs of Muslim countries have lately emerged as such
influential actors on the world stage.
But, what to make of these shifts in the various power structures in the world?
While we cannot predict their specific roles, they assuredly are part of
last-day, geo-political power struggles.
Endtime Power Strategies
Consider this verse, “He […] will greatly honor those who acknowledge
him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a
price.” (Daniel 11:39, NIV) This verse is excerpted from a section that
describes the actions of the final world ruler. We see here that elites of some
kind, will receive considerable reward for their complicity in supporting the
agendas of the final incarnate “spirit of the antichrist” himself.
Who are the ones that receive honor from the Antichrist? The answer — those that
will acknowledge him. Virtually all English Bible translations use the word
“acknowledge.” It means here that certain key people who recognize him and
accept his authority will receive a reward — land. It should be noted that the
original Aramaic word used for “land” in this verse can also convey the idea of
property or economic domain as well as geographic area. After all, in ancient
times, land was the main foundation of wealth and economy.
It only follows that this must be a small, elite group of people who likely are
already influential in their own right. Why? They will be made rulers over many.
As not everyone can be made a ruler over many, therefore these will be few. Not
only is this logical, but the Bible also specifically tell us what the reward
will be for everybody else … in other words, all the rest of the masses
that acknowledge and worship the Antichrist. They will not be killed
(a negative reward) and be allowed to
“buy or sell.’ He causes, “[…]
all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone,
small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right
hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell”
The elites, on the other hand—whoever they are—are bought off for their loyalty
with further reward … the additional pay-off of power or economic domain, we
reason. It is the same or similar deal that Satan offered Christ when he was
being tested in the wilderness, promising “[…] authority and splendor,
for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you
worship me, it will all be yours" (Luke 4:6-7).
But why did the devil think it worthwhile to specifically test Christ in such a
colossal way? Obviously, it would have been great gain for him were he
successful. Here was motive and incentive. We may therefore take some license
and deduce that there will be a similar motive behind the Antichrist’s endtime
reward systems. The elites selected for reward must have something to barter in
return … likely their fame or endorsement. And, it wouldn’t be surprising then
if these were highly revered people, politicians, great humanitarians, or
Christian masqueraders … even so-called “angels of light.”
We are given at least a few criteria with which to identify who these elites
might be at that future date. In the first instance, they must be humans. Also,
they must be capable of being rulers, already likely possessing some measure of
power and authority. And, they must
be willing worldly complicitors.
Although these events play out during the future Tribulation period
(and therefore really do not concern us),
is it already possible today to discern the power structures that these elites
might command? Although we cannot be definitive by the light of conditions
today, we can certainly propose some candidates — whatever the form they may
actually take. In addition to the newly emerging SWFs, we outline three more:
The 10 Kings.
The Bible makes extensive mention of the 10 kings that will give their power and
authority to the Antichrist (Revelation 17:12). This group indeed could
fittingly represent these elites mentioned in Daniel 11. The Bible provides us
with at least 13 sets of characteristics or markers of these 10 persons. The
strict literal meaning of the word king
(whether in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek) is a human male that is head of a
nation, tribe or people. Of the more than 2,500 appearances of this word in the
Bible, only with one exception is it conclusively used in any other way than as
referring to a male head. That applies to God, who was also manifest in the
flesh. The word “prince” is instead almost always used to describe potentates of
However, it remains true even at this late date that we cannot yet identify
these10 kings. There are a number of theories, the most prevalent of which is
that these 10 kings will all come from a revived Roman
Empire, of which the European Union of today is the predecessor.
While this is a very plausible and popular interpretation, it remains unproven.
The Bible simply does not provide us with a conclusive identity of the 10
nations. Daniel 9:26, which, on the one
hand, is an extremely important verse in the apologetics of Bible prophecy, does
not provide an ironclad connection to the European Union of today.
(For a more in-depth examination of the
10 kings, please see the Midnight Call issues October to December 2006.)
However, could new types of power structures other than sovereign countries
emerge that could also have heads like kings? If so, we could then pose some
Financial System Powers.
There are a number of possibilities in this arena. Some prophecy analysts have
theorized that the heads of various financial entities (such as banks) could
quality as the 10 kings. Or could it be 10 regional central banks, coordinated
under the Bank of International Settlements (BIS)? To date, most all central
banks are coordinating their activities through the BIS. In fact, the Club of
Rome some time ago conceptually divided the world into 10 financial regions.
Certainly, financial conglomerates are becoming ever larger and financial
systems ever more invasive. It is these large companies that are behind the
explosion in financial markets (as of end
2007, valued at $760 trillion or 15 times the size of the world economy),
accounting for an increasing share in world income, levels of indebtedness and
economic control. Today, the largest 50 financial corporations in the world
represent well over one-third of total world banking assets.
Multi-national firms (MNCs) today, as a group, are probably the most influential
economic force in the world. And, as money is power in this age, they may also
be the most powerful viewed as a group. Though these companies may find their
roots a few hundred years ago, their global power has only really developed over
the past half century or so. Could 10 MNCs emerge sometime in the future that
are large enough to master the world?
It is possible. In fact, today, of the top 100 hundred economic entities in the
world, roughly half are made up of countries, the other half by MNCs. The heads
of these companies, though they are answerable to boards of directors,
nevertheless are very influential. These firms can employ hundreds of thousands
of employees—more than the population of many countries.
Some secular analysts do foresee the day where a small group of such
commercial polyglots will indeed dominate the world economy.
Each of these forms and structures will have a human head at its top. All of
them will likely be pursuing a reward of some type. Yet, having taken this brief
survey (hardly exhaustive)
we still cannot identify the identity of the elites that Daniel mentions without
any degree of certainty. This shouldn’t be disappointing. It causes us to keep
watching; to not be taken unawares; and to remain open to new information. The
world’s power structures do keep shifting.
we have the word of the prophets made more certain”
(2 Peter 1:19), at the same time we must also realize that our Enemy is cunning
and a supreme master of deception.
The only wise and sure conclusion is that we must keep our options open—keeping
ourselves oriented to the Scriptures; watching and waiting for our Lord’s
return, so as to not be distracted nor caught sleeping.
Thoughts to Ponder
We have pondered the question of who will be the final group of elites who are
in complicity with the Antichrist, as well as the nature of their reward. We
have no certain answers as to their final identities. However, there are at
least two things that we can know with surety.
We know the fate of these elites and also everyone else in the world that does
not acknowledge Him, the true God and Savior. Just as was decreed to
times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign
over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes"
(Daniel 4:32). Seven times means seven years in the typical Aramaic usage. At
the end of the Great Tribulation, “every knee” of those remaining shall bow and
worship Him, the Lamb that was slain.
We also know the identities and fate of those who do not acknowledge the
Antichrist. They are the ones who instead acknowledge the Risen Savior. However,
while this refers to those who became believers in the Tribulation, on this side
of the rapture, they are those that struggle against the “spirit of the
antichrist.” Christ’s promise
remains in force: "Whoever
acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in
heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in
heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
What then is our reward … and the price? Certainly not the promise of something
so mundane and temporal as the “land” promised to the elites; in other words,
material wealth, position and power in the world. Said Christ,
and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they
persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
No, the Saints are the ones that the world will hate, as the world also hated
Christ. Said Jesus, “[…]
you will be hated by all nations because of me”
As Apostle Paul experienced, the Saints are more likely to be
troubled than coddled, perplexed than self-reliant, persecuted than befriended,
rejected than accepted. “For
we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that
his life may be revealed in our mortal body”
(2 Corinthians 4:11).
Take courage, Christ is coming quickly with his reward.
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone
according to what he has done.”
(Revelation 22:12) For, soon it will be time for
“rewarding your servants the prophets and
your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great”
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About the Author:
Wilfred J. Hahn
is a global economist/strategist.
Formerly a top-ranked global analyst and chairman of the country’s largest
global investment operation his writings focus on the endtime roles of money,
economics and globalization. He has
been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other
publications and languages. His
most recent book is The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free.