Europe and the Prince That Shall Come by David Breese

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By Dave Breese

The Tide of Revolution

A reunited Germany has not been looked upon with complete favor by the nations of the East or the West, in that it now poses many perplexing questions. In the West, the world remembers that Germany gave us World War I and II with all of their unspeakably and terrible results. The former Soviet Union retains the same memories, with the addition that it saw itself nearly conquered by the efficient legions of Germany in World War II.

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Nevertheless, the tide of sentiment for reunification has now come to pass, leaving the onlooking nations in a state of bewilderment as to what its possibilities might be.

The story of Czechoslovakia is amazingly similar. The press carried the story from Prague:

Czechoslovakia’s Communist rulers agreed Friday to accept a minority role in a new national government for the first time since 1948, giving the country’s democracy movement its biggest victory to date …. The announcement culminated a series of Communist concessions during the past three weeks to the growing “people power” of the pro-democracy Civic Forum coalition.

But the tide of revolution rolls on in Czechoslovakia. The people have announced in many ways that they will accept nothing of Communist control for the future. Even the minority members of the government are jeered as representing a bloody, tyrannical system, which they now want to see relegated to the dustbin of history. These traumatic changes in Czechoslovakia have been viewed with equal astonishment by an attentive world.

The dramatic political changes in East Germany and Czechoslovakia are but a part of the wider changes that have affected Europe in recent years. The Czechoslovakian action was followed by similar moves by Communist parties in other East European states to cede power to opposition movements. In Poland, the Communists surrendered the reins of government to Solidarity and took a minority position in the new government. Lech Warangal Solidarity’s intrepid leader, became president of Poland. A stunning reversal of fortune indeed! Hungary and Bulgaria made similar changes. The story of change continued at a blistering pace. In an editorial, the Wichita Eagle reported: “Battles – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Are Next in Line of Freedom March.” It said:

Step by step, the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are moving toward their goal of independence …. Within hours of the Lithuanian move to create a multi-party system, the Estonian Communist Party’s Central Committee acted to do almost the same thing. . . . “The Party’s leading role here no longer exists anyway,” said one Estonian official.

Remarkably, as if presciently sensing the inevitable dissolution of the Soviet Union, the editorial said:

Indeed, the “leading role” of the Communist Party already has been revoked in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, and the Soviet reaction has been benign. For the Soviets to countenance a change of this magnitude there but not at home would be hypocritical in the extreme.

The legitimacy of the Soviet government is what’s really at issue here, and nowhere is this more true than in the “captured nations” of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. As they go, perestroika goes – something else that shouldn’t be lost on the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party.

The continuing stories of dramatic changes coming out of the nations of Europe leave the onlooking world reeling in amazement.

Shaking the Foundations of Communism

These developments have and continue to dynamically influence the former Soviet Union, or the Commonwealth of Independent States, as it is now called. The beginning of the end could be seen for the USSR in stories such as this one carried in the L.A. Times: “Soviets May Rethink Party Primacy.” From Moscow came the report:

The Kremlin said Friday that it is willing to consider revising or even eliminating the law guaranteeing the Communist monopoly on power as part of an overall rewriting of the constitution.

The legislators and activists in the Soviet Union calling for a revision of the party’s role and the rise of a multi-party system on a national level also have been emboldened by the legal abolition of guaranteed Communist Party dominance in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland.

The debate about communism and its right to rule in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe was then punctuated by a series of developments that had a startling effect on the Party and the people. The first was the death of Andrei Sakharov. The world was touched and startled by this event.

Sakharov, the scientist who invented the Soviet version of the hydrogen bomb, was held in high esteem in the Soviet Union. This nuclear physicist, reputed to be a Christian, began then to express his great concern about Communist tyranny. The day before his death, he had a stirring debate with Gorbachev himself at a meeting of the Communist Central Committee. This brave and defiant man predicted the death of the Soviet Union if it did not give freedom to the people. His brand of courage is rare in all the world, but it came shining through in the last speech of his life. The next day he died of a heart attack – we might even say a broken heart.

The Communist world, shaken by this event, soon heard the rumble of machine gun fire coming from Bucharest, Romania. There had ruled Nicolae Ceausescu, the most severe and brutal dictator in the entire Communist world. That rule was soon to be no more.

A few days before Christmas 1989, Ceausescu made a speech to the people in the main square at Bucharest. This speech was interrupted by jeers and catcalls as the crowd shouted, “Down with Ceausescu! Down with communism!”

Ceausescu, still under the delusion that he was in full control, ordered his troops to fire on the crowd. This they did, and hundreds died. Some soldiers, however, refused to fire on their own friends in the crowd, and these troopers were executed by Ceausescu’s secret police. This was too much! The crowd, despite the danger, came surging back and demanded that Ceausescu resign.

This animalistic dictator was quickly caught in a wave of resentment. There came a speedy trial for him and his wife, which was then followed by a Christmas-day firing squad. The riddled bodies of “the Butcher of Bucharest” and his wife were photographed and shown repeatedly on television across the world. In the Romanian revolution thousands died, but communism was thrown out.

“The Antichrist is dead! What a wonderful Christmas gift we have received – the Antichrist is dead!” shouted the people. Speaking from their Christian background, the people could only use the thoughts of the Bible to express their reaction to these events.

Is the Antichrist dead? What will be the result of the breakdown of European communism? How shall we explain what has happened and is happening in the dissolving Communist world today, and what will be the outcome of these European events?

When the Romanians called their leader “the Antichrist,” they reminded the world of an explanation of communism given to us by Solzhenitsyn. He said that all of the dreadful things that have come upon the Soviet Union – the murder of millions, the closing of churches, the destruction of freedom, the gulags, and a thousand other cruelties – have come because “‘they have forgotten God.” In considering this, we remember that the Bible says:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (1 John 4:3).

We must then consider the rise of Antichrist. But first, let Europe and the Prince That Shall Come 0 179 us look through observant human eyes at the present agony of Europe. Why the Sudden Change?

When we see the far-reaching nature of these changes, most of us understandably ask the question, “‘Why? What is the reason for this new permissive attitude that has effectively caused the Communist world to self-destruct?”

Some have given us the simple, facile explanation that the Communist leaders became corruptand presumptuous, thereby losing their right to rule. Others say that Marxism itself has failed and has now become a non-viable point of view. These remarks are semi-evaluations of the situation, but they are simply half-truths.

The fact is that the leaders of the Communist world were corrupt and degenerate from the very beginning and never did have a right to rule. Marxism was not merely invalidated in these late days; it was never a valid philosophy. It is simply a collection of mumbo-jumbo about economics that has never been understood by two Communists in exactly the same way. Nevertheless, Marxism is complicated enough so that it was able to pass as a worthy object of discussion for many years. After all, Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in 1863.

In history, the Communists have always presented themselves as the “proletariat,” the party of the people. The nations that they brutally captured were dubbed “the People’s Republic” of this and that. Indulgent academicians in the West have pandered to this nonsense for two generations, never subjecting it to the destructive criticism that it so richly deserves.

The fact is, the Communists have never come to power in any country because of the will of the people. The people were simply neutralized into political impotence while a determined elite took over the nation. This was done, albeit with difficulty, in the Soviet Union. It was done with greater ease in the captive nations because the Communist party was now backed by the merciless fire and steel of the Red Army. A minority plus bayonets carries the deciding vote against the majority every time.

Probably the best explanation for the allowances within the former Communist system, which have resulted in these widespread changes, is an explanation on a two-fold level. The first is that the Communist system was simply bankrupt. Russia, prior to the dissolution of the USSR, had a gross national product only 25 percent that of the United States, despite the fact that its population is larger than that of the United States.

For seventy years, however, the Russians promoted the fiction that the Communist system was viable and prosperous. Whatever apparent shortcomings it seemed to show were excused by the statement that “True communism has not yet come to pass because the imperialists are still with us.” Under this fabrication, people were given utopian dreams rather than food, clothing, shelter, and a purpose for living.

Those who still retained their cynicism within the Communist system were simply sent to the gulag or the execution chamber. A bullet in the back of the head was the final argument the Communist bullies had in response to the objections of the people.

A second way to explain the permissiveness of the Communist governments just before their demise is that the leadership had, at least in a measure, lost its will to be as brutal as was the case in days gone by. The Chinese answer to the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square was tanks, bayonets, and thirty-six hundred bodies scattered across that bloody battleground. The consequence is that public dissent is still rather rare in China.

In Russia and the former Eastern bloc nations, however, global publicity, contacts with the West, student exchanges, and other open windows of media awareness made it impolitic for the former Soviet Union’s Communist bosses to do the same. This does not imply moral superiority on the part of the former Russian Communist leaders, but it may imply that they, and their successors, have taken one small step in the direction of rejoining the human race. After all, Gorbachev seemed to know something about the Bible.

The Advantages of Perestroika

We must also remember that there are significant new advantages that came to the Eastern European and Russian states as a result of this move away from communism. What have they gained? Many things. These include:

1. A Relaxed Defense Posture by the West

Always prone to believing the best and the most convenient, Western leaders are now saying, “The cold war is over.” They are, therefore, responding to the moves of the former Communist regimes with not only a relaxed defense posture, but with massive financial aid and other assistance to their “former enemies.” The cynical Communist surely rejoices that the West has reverted to slumber instead of facing its great danger.

2. More U.S. Aid and Investments

The United States and other cooperating nations have now committed themselves to the investment of at least one billion dollars in Poland and Hungary alone. When this was done in days gone by, the money became an outright gift, for we never saw it again. The expectation of seeing a return on this new sizeable investment is equally remote. Still, these two nations will get one billion dollars, and we can expect that billions more will follow.

3. Reduced American Military Forces in Europe

The United States is now planning on a significant force reduction in Europe, perhaps by one-third. This could not be accomplished by military means on the part of the Soviet Union, but perestroika has done it.

4. The Diversion of American Attention

While the United States and the West are concentrating on Europe, revolutionary movements are newly active across the world. El Salvador and the Philippines have been the object of the latest bloody attempts at revolution in which the Communists are deeply involved. American preoccupation with Europe can be expected to reduce our concern over these other places. Many other revolutions, especially in Latin America, could follow.

5. A General Power Reduction in America

Already, the overall military budget is being greatly reduced. This grows out of the judgment now being made that the extension of American power is no longer needed in the world. This power reduction by America cannot be expected to improve the American economy. Rather, as is always the case, the money “‘saved” will be dissipated on other things.

These and many other benefits are now coming to the shaky Commonwealth of Independent States. It is not impossible that Russia itself could gain a “most favored nation” status on the part of the United States. This could be worth additional billions to the Soviet Union. So, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, despite all his problems, is still with us.

A New Europe

The sea-change continues. There is no doubt that the most widespread movement for change, for restructuring, and for new arrangements that Europe has seen in forty years is now coming to pass. Everyone agrees that the governments of Europe, in the sense in which they relate to one another, are being reformed, recast into a new mold. Whatever may be the final outcome, Europe cannot be the same again.

Final outcomes quickly change, however. Saddarn Hussein, with his invasion of Kuwait, has reminded the world of the folly of believing in permanent peace. Like a global alarm clock, the Mid-East crisis startled us out of sleep. It brought new, serious considerations to the United States, to Europe, to Russia, and to the world.

In the midst of these changes, we can be sure that the outcome in Europe, by the determination of many of its leaders, is not going to be left to mere chance. No indeed, for the nations of western Europe have decided to come together with a form of political unity that has not been known before. Political unity in Europe has always been a very elusive thing. Indeed, the largest wars of the world have started in Europe because these nations found it impossible, in the long run, to work together.

Now, however, the sentiment is different. The leaders of Europe are in effect saying, “We realize that it will not be possible for us to move again to world supremacy without unity. Therefore, we must lay aside our differences and come together as a new United States of Europe. By doing this, we will constitute a power bloc that can move to the ascendancy of world leadership.”

When did all the pieces fall into place? From Strasbourg, France, came this report: Leaders of the twelve-nation European Community, closing ranks amid upheaval in Eastern Europe, agreed Friday to press ahead with an economic and monetary union despite British opposition.

The decision, on the opening day of a two-day summit, means the European Economic Community will convene a special conference in December 1990, to start negotiations for the adoption of a single currency and to set up a system of central banks.

The agreement came after France and West Germany overrode objections by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that radical monetary integration will rob member countries of sovereign rights to decide national economic policy.

When Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady,” resigned as British prime minister, her stepping aside opened the way for a speedy British integration into a United Europe.

January 1, 1993 is the announced date when this plan win in fact materialize. For months, hundreds of committees have been meeting in the nations of Europe to bring standardization to pass that will make unity possible. These committees are establishing a unified railway system, a common currency, a common political structure, free access across all borders, a common electrical voltage, and a thousand other commonalties that must be arranged for Europe to come together.

The United States of Europe could quickly become the most powerful political force in the world. With a population of 320 million, it will instantly possess unified economic strength that is larger than that of the United States. It will, therefore, have economic and commercial power second to none in the entire world.

The Europe of Hope?

Despite every difficulty, the European economic community will bring itself together to develop a powerful block of economic influence – possibly the greatest in our time. Jacques Chirac, former conservative prime minister of France, wrote in the liberal LeMonde of Paris:

Despite the risk of delaying or endangering the process of integration under way among European Community nations, we must act along three lines: advance toward economic and monetary union; strengthen measures for political coordination among the principal European states to avert the temptation of taking an “every man for himself” attitude toward relations with the East; and assemble and apply powerful means of pulling the Eastern economies out of their rut.

There remains the critical area of freedoms. A single Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals should not be two-tiered where freedoms are concerned. Our” common house” cannot have wideopen doors and windows on one side, locked doors and barred windows on the other.

So, it is up to us to implement Europe-wide measures gradually to provide all citizens with the same fundamental rights. That implies putting in place a legal order consonant with the principles of freedom laid down by the Council of Europe: the freeing of all political prisoners; the closing of gulags; reform of the penal code; introduction of complete freedom of movement between the two parts of Europe by abolishing exit visas; and, finally, the symbolic destruction of the Berlin Wall.

Let us not forget that we have known the Europe of terror and conquered it; we have lived in the Europe of fear and driven it back. My confidence in the Europe of hope is, therefore, that much stronger.

“The Europe of hope,” that is the note being sounded in Europe today. We do well then to take note of the kind of language that the world is using to speak about the future. Considering the developments in Europe and related issues from across the world, there is a sense of awe, foreboding, and hope about the future.

The Toronto Star carried an article entitled, “Waiting for the Millennium: Where Is ‘Earth, Inc.’ Headed?” They said of this decade – “the last of the millennium, let alone the century – may be the toughest one yet” and described it this way:

It will be a highly complex period driven by competing forces: technology and science, plus impassioned. calls for an ethical base according to which they should be monitored. Before the tram of progress gets any further out of the station, it is a safe bet that mankind, at least the version of mankind dwelling in the industrialized world, will finally start examining where it is going.

So it is that the remarkable developments of our time, centering in Europe, are causing people to ask, “What of the future? How will tomorrow come together?”

Politics, Money, and Military Might

As Europe reconstituted itself into a new political entity, we can be sure the leaders of Europe intend with total conviction to become the strongest political force in the world. During the next few years, we will hear announcements, one after another, about the progressive strength and mounting capability of Europe.

The first great strength that the European leaders intend to take to themselves is commercial capability. We can expect them to bring this to pass. No thinking person must ever underestimate the brilliance of the Europeans at inventing new products, making better items, selling their wares, and then promoting them across the world. Already, Germany has become a commercial enterprise to be respected.

Soon, however, there will be added to this the organizational ability, the creativity, the salesmanship, the new ideas, and the vision for the future that will come from the English, the French, the Italians, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and others. The leaders of Europe can be expected to organize their inventive thinking in the world of commerce in such a way as to become catalytic. The possibilities will certainly be amazingly great.

Once Europe’s commercial power is developed, they will be faced with another problem. Their newfound wealth must now be protected! Europe will immediately realize the necessity of developing a strong military establishment, an all European army to guard their overflowing coffers. That military establishment will immediately have two great missions.

The first mission is to protect Europe itself. A revived Europe will still face the very real danger of invasion from the east along with new military responsibilities in the Middle East.

Despite all of its inner changes, the former Soviet Union still possesses the largest military force in the world. It has more tanks, more artillery, more infantry, more airplanes, more naval vessels and submarines than anyone else on the face of the Earth. These capabilities, despite the apparent political change, still remain intact. For this reason alone, Europe must multiply its defenses rather than reduce them.

General Colin Powell, United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just before the dissolution of the USSR, said, “Despite talk of disarmament, we must remember that the Soviet Union is the only nation in the world which could destroy the United States in thirty minutes.” That capability has not lessened!

The second mission of a European military establishment must also be to protect the energy routes from the Middle East. A high percentage – once nearly 100 percent – of the oil that heats and energizes Europe comes from the oil-rich lands of the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf. Should these supplies be threatened, all other considerations would immediately need to be set aside in favor of guaranteeing the uninterrupted flow of Mid-East oil. Without this, homes would become cold, automobiles would be parked by the curb, and airplanes would no longer fly. The pipeline from the Middle East must always be held as a major consideration by the planners of Europe’s future.

Richard Cheney, the United States Secretary of Defense, called for the reduction of the American military commitment to Europe. Our military budget will, he said, be reduced by $180 billion over the next three years. Plans are to deactivate five American fighter wings and to pull at least one hundred thousand troops out of Europe. This puts the pressure on Europe to expand its own military power.

The Europeans, being realists, must take note. Indeed, the Byzantine political leaders of Europe are not nearly as impressed by rhetoric as are the Americans. They must, therefore, expand their military capability, and they will. They can be expected to be relatively unimpressed by the sweet talk that comes from the other nations of the world. Yes, Europe could soon become the most powerful military force on the face of the earth.

How Europe Lost Its Soul

Commercial, political, and military unity may be easy to achieve, but it is difficult to sustain. The thinkers of Europe will, therefore, be expected to ask the question, “Is there some other mucilage, some other magnetism, some other great force by which we can continue to draw together the nations of Europe and even the rest of the world into our plan for the new world that we must, yes we will, create?”

Is there a magnetism that is potentially greater than commercial and political unity? Yes indeed! It is religious unity.

The call for some kind of common faith must inevitably grow out of the present European developments. What might that common faith be? We may answer that question readily when we remember that virtually all of Europe is a part of what has historically been called “Christian civilization.” A high percentage of Europeans still hold to Roman Catholicism, and many millions are passionate in their involvement in this faith.

About 450 years ago, Northern Germany, along with England and parts of Holland, however; embraced the reformation of Martin Luther. They are Protestant, at least in name, but the form of Protestantism that is generally embraced in Northern Europe is a corruption of the reformation faith. Through the years, the form of Christianity believed on the continent and in England is mere formalism, sacerdotalism, religious practice, crosses, candles, and weather-stained buildings.

Luther’s doctrine of the Bible alone, faith alone, and grace alone has been generally supplanted by a plethora of religious practices not greatly dissimilar from Roman Catholicism itself. In fact, there is already a strong call for reuniting with “the mother church” that comes from the English Anglicans and even from Northern Europe. As spiritual convictions subside, the call for organizational unity grows.

Christianity has always been the object of attempted subversion, and one of the most successful forms impacted the faith in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the latter half of the last century, Europe opened itself to dreadful spiritual and cultural deterioration by allowing the Christian faith to be corrupted before its very eyes. What happened?

German rationalism and European pseudo-intellectualism ushered in religious liberalism. Julius Wellhausen presented the “Documentary Hypothesis,” which really denied the inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures. As a result, the Bible became a merely human book ‘ devoid of divine inspiration.

The European rationalists arrogated to themselves the right to examine the Bible and pass judgments upon it, rather than allowing the Bible to examine them. Man became the intellectual master of his “Christian” religion, rather than Christ being the author of divine revelation and the Lord of the human condition.

What was the result? Europe, and finally most of Western civilization, lost its moorings, its spiritual foundations. European Christianity, while still meeting in buildings and lighting candles, ceased to believe in the primacy of divine revelation. Human reason became superior to the Word of God, and the will of man more desirous than the will of God. The result was that the intellectuals of Europe no longer protected themselves and the people from the evolution of Darwin, the social theories of Marx, and the deadly philosophy of Rousseau and other enemies of reason and realty.

Another strange result occurred. At the beginning of this century, Albert Einstein announced the theory of relativity. This understanding demonstrated itself to be eminently true in the realm of physics and now nuclear physics. Europe, however, by this time becoming intellectually faddist, made relativity a social philosophy. From then on, all things were relative, and final absolutes disappeared.

There are many who are willing to argue, therefore, that the two greatest wars in the history of the world grew out of European spiritual, religious, and philosophical degeneracy. The liberal poison worked, not merely to the bewilderment of individuals, but also to the destruction of the soul of Europe. Yes, it can be said that this is the century in which Europe lost its soul.

Religious Magnetism

What fearful consequences will yet come upon Europe for its rejection of biblical Christianity? Can Europe ever regain its commanding position of influence and consequence in the world? Be very sure that this is the intention of the European political leaders, philosophers, and economists in our time. In these very days, they are thinking every moment about a sense of destiny with reference to the future. They anticipate and deliberately plan to put together a new power block that will be second to none across our present world. But they plan largely without including the true God in their ambitions.

How will they do this? It does not strain the imagination to think that there could quickly develop in Europe a composite form of theologically corrupted neo-Christianity plus New Age paganism that could be the initial magnetism to pun Europe together in a program of religious unity.

In Europe and across the world, the call for “Christian unity” is coming on very strong. Many denominations – even in America – beset by lack of attendance, financial problems, mediocre leadership, aging buildings, rusting machinery, and spiritual exhaustion are beginning to think of global religious unity as the answer, producing the dawn of a new age. Look for that call to grow, and especially listen for it to come out of the continent of Europe as the West seeks its soul again.

The Threat of War

These forms of unity – commercial, political, military, and religious – cannot, however, be expected to happen by accident. In all of history, unity has been based on two major considerations: a principle that is compelling but somewhat abstract, and a leader who is concrete and charismatic. People rarely gather or exercise great passions over mere principle or a point of doctrine. When that “ideology” or spiritual point of view is embodied in a great personal communicator, however, then presto, a catalytic conversion takes place.

We have seen this in the past, have we not? This is the way it was with Hitler in Germany, with Mussolini in Italy, and with the god-man Hirohito in Japan. Yes, this century has produced evidence, which is still frighteningly remembered, of the conversion and catalyzing of whole nations around a compelling, charismatic leader.

Can this be expected in Europe? It indeed must be the case, or the planned unity of Europe will fractionalize itself into a thousand pieces. In fact, even the present gathering of Europe is focused around individual, commanding leaders whose voices are respected. None of them however, appears at this moment to have the ultimate charisma to gather the passions of Europe and hold them in his right hand.

What could trigger the emergence of such a leader? Many things – the paramount one being the threat of global war. Be sure that this era of “the cold war is past” and “peace is now upon us” will not continue. Christ told us this. He said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars ……

Jesus said that this would always be the case in all of history. He then expanded upon this by saying, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” The Bible never promises that man will be able to bring peace on earth, although it indicates many peace movements will make such a promise.

The threat of war would produce great fear across Europe and the other nations of the West, including America. Such a threat often produces a degree of irrationality, whereby people accept solutions that would otherwise be rejected. They can certainly be expected to accept a solution from a great, respected world leader.

The Man With The Plan

One can easily envision such a leader presenting himself on international television as “the man with the plan.” One could almost hear him say: “Dear friends of earth, brothers and sisters. Let me extend a great call to sanity. We are now presented with the possibility of nuclear holocaust, but such a thing does not have to come to pass. Why should millions die when it could be otherwise? Let us meet together under the great cause of world peace, and let us plan our tomorrows as civilized men. Yes, I have a plan whereby we can move beyond the threat of war into a millennium of peace, and yes, a new age of prosperity.”

With these and many other words, a beguiling voice could easily attract the attention, the loyalty, and the cooperation of the nations of the world.

Such a person may already be a well-known religious leader, already being accepted and trusted by millions. One can easily envision the rulers of the nations responding by saying, “You be our leader! We are willing to follow you. We believe in your program for a global unity!”

We can easily see, then, how this person could be expected to say: “Thank you so much for your response! But God has called me to spiritual things. May I therefore introduce to you Mr. So-And-So, whom I consider to be one of the potentially great men of our time. He has wide vision, large comprehension, and boundless energy. He speaks many languages, and I recommend that we appoint him as chairman of the committee to plan the future and to achieve world peace and comity of nations.”

Yes, a global religious leader could easily be the catalyst to install. a political leader who would be instantly respected, loved, admired, and followed.

Is this a plausible scenario for the days to come? It is entirely plausible on a simple human level, but it is more than that! When we look into the Word of God and its prophecy about the future, we see that such a development is inevitable.

Will Europe produce a great world political leader? Yes, it will! Will this great political leader come to power with the help of a great religious leader? Yes, he will! The Bible indicates that exactly this will take place in the world as we move toward the end of the age.

Yes, observing even through human eyes, we can see the emergent inevitability of the fulfillment of the biblical picture. Considering, then, the teaching of the Word of God, let us ask, “Is the rise of Antichrist upon us?”

The Last Empire

How wonderful it is that God has given us, in His Word, the only reliable projection available to tell us of the future. We can understand the direction of our world and its ultimate outcome only by understanding the Word of God. We must take confidence in the fact that:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2 Pet. 1:19).

In the prophetic Word we learn that we have a dependable source of information, and the examining of that information produces immense profit. We do need to take heed to what the Bible says.

What then does the Bible say about that leader who will come to power first in Europe and then become the leader of the entire world? The Scripture says:

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (Dan. 9:26).

Here we have a very remarkable prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Antichrist. First of all, this verse reminds us of that awful event in which the Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ the King of all kings, would be cut off “but not for himself.” Here is a prophetic foretelling of the death of the Saviour in which Christ would give His life for the sins of the world.

Who are the people who cut off the Messiah? Who are the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary? Quite obviously, the answer is Rome. It was the Roman Empire that was the master of the world in the days of the earthly ministry of Christ. It was a Roman sword that pierced the side of Jesus Christ, and it was a Roman soldier’s arm that drove those awful spikes through His hands and through His feet. It was a Roman army under Titus that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70.

This prophecy in the Book of Daniel describes the activity of a power that can only be fulfilled by the historic Roman Empire and the Roman Empire reconstituted as the last great empire of earth.

We must remember that only four great empires will rule the world in the entire history of man. These four great empires are: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In Daniel’s description, the great emphasis is on that fourth empire. The Scripture says:

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of the potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay Pan. 2:40-43).

Here we have a perfect description of the final stage of the empire of Rome and of present-day Europe. In its earliest constitution, Rome was the great power of the world but was then divided into two great entities: the East, ruled by Constantinople; and the West, centered in Rome itself.

In its final form, the empire will be both unified and divided, divided into ten kingdoms but unified as a kingdom in and of itself under a great leader. It is that complicated political entity, the reconstituted Roman Empire, which will produce, according to the prophet Daniel, the prince that shall come.

A reconstituted Roman Empire – that means Europe. It can only mean Rome and its environs: Italy, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, and England; all of which and more were a part of the original Roman Empire. As we see this complex coming together with breathtaking speed, we must realize that right before our eyes is developing the political base for the prince that shall come, the Antichrist. What then does the Bible say about this coming dreadful world ruler?

Daniel, describing the prince that shall come, the Antichrist, gives us a real insight into his personality and power: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (Dan. 7:25).

Speaking further about him, Daniel says: And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand (Dan. 8:23-25).

So it is that the Antichrist will be a remarkable person, and by a program of peace will institute what finally will be great destruction in the world.

Who is this person who is called “the beast” (Rev. 13:4), “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3), “the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3)? While the Bible does not give us his name, it gives us many characteristics of this evil monster who will initially come to power in a revived Europe and ultimately, for a brief hour, rule the world. What does the Scripture say about him? Its denotations include the following:

1) He will come presenting a great program of peace (Dan. 8:25).

2) He will oppose Christ, the Prince of princes Pan. 8:25).

3) He shall wear out the saints of the most High (Dan. 7:25).

4) He will come out of the people who cut off Messiah the Prince (Dan. 9:26).

5) He will make a covenant with the nation of Israel (Dan. 9:27).

6) He will break that covenant and persecute the Jews (Dan. 9:27).

7) He will pretend to be God Himself (2 Thess. 2:4).

8) He will occupy the rebuilt temple, the temple of God (2 Thess. 2:4).

9) He will perform the will of Satan (2 Thess. 2:9).

10) He will bring strong delusion to the whole world (2 Thess. 2:11).

11) He will be wounded to death, but he will recover (Rev. 13:14-15).

12) He will blaspheme God (Rev. 13:5-6).

13) All the world will worship him (Rev. 13:8).

14) He will be a miracle worker (Rev. 13:13-14).

15) He will set up his image that speaks like a man (Rev. 13:14-15).

16) He will cause every person to receive a mark, the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16).

17) He will himself have a number, 666 (Rev. 13:18).

The person who has wisdom (Rev. 13:18) will note these characteristics and will possess information that will be valuable in discerning the times in which we live. These details about the Antichrist are provided in Scripture for a purpose, and we do well to carefully heed the prophetic Word and let it affect our fives. Foolish indeed is the Christian who, for whatever reason, ignores the predictions of Scripture about the last days.

The predictions of Scripture plus the developments of our times are producing a stunning impact upon our world. When we remember that Europe will be the initial power base for the Antichrist, we should be thoughtful. Remembering also that he will expand his reign to rule the world as earth’s most powerful dictator, we think further. We even wonder what amazing cosmic power must be working even in our time to bring these developments so quickly to pass.

The Power Behind the Throne

We must notice from these passages that the Antichrist, when he comes, will not gain the ascendancy or the ability to rule simply by his own power. No indeed, there is a ferocious spiritual power that will give the Antichrist his capability. What is this power? Again, the Scripture describes this exactly. Speaking of the Antichrist, it says:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thess. 2:8-10).

The true power behind the Antichrist is that of Satan himself. It is the devil who will finally raise up his man, his representative, who will organize the world against God.

The Scripture sounds an interesting note concerning the religious leader who will gather the religions of the world in a great ecumenical faith that will then be invoked in the service of the Antichrist. The religion of the Antichrist will ultimately be satanism. The Scripture says:

And they [the people of the world] worshipped the dragon [the devil] which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies … (Rev. 13:4-5).

So the devil produces a program of global worship in which the world falls before the Antichrist. He does use a religious leader to do this, described in Scripture:

And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did five (Rev. 13:11-14).

A satanic trinity will first come to power in a revived Roman Empire and then move out to become the political and religious masters of the world. These are Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet.

We must also notice that the Scripture teaches that there will be a covenant between the Antichrist and the nation of Israel. This covenant (military alliance) will be broken by the Antichrist, and he will initiate a persecution of Israel that will be fearful indeed. This activity will bring to pass the last half of a period of time called “the Tribulation,” this last half being “the Great Tribulation.” The Scripture says:

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Dan. 9:27).

Notice there will be a covenant made by the Antichrist with “the many” (Israel). In response to this covenant, he may well move an army into Israel as a defense against a mighty invasion from the north when Russia moves to the south (Ezek. 38-39). Out of this notable victory, which actually will be won by the Lord, the Antichrist could well be escalated on this account to world leadership. Temporarily, he will be a great friend to the nation of Israel, but will ultimately be the bitterest enemy of God’s people.

What will finally be the end of the Antichrist? The Scripture says that he will be destroyed by the return of Jesus Christ when our Lord comes at the end of the great battle of Armageddon. The Antichrist is called the one “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and He shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” When Christ comes again in power and great glory, He will depose the Antichrist, who then will be cast into the lake that bums with fire and brimstone for ever and ever.

In fact, we do well to think specifically of what will happen to the Antichrist as taught in the prophetic Word. The lesson of his tragic end is that evil will not finally triumph. The message of the Bible is that evil is temporary, but righteousness is eternal. In the last analysis, any ruler or any ordinary man is a total fool who attempts to oppose God and His program. While many make the attempt, even in our time, the life lived in opposition to God is the life of insanity. We can see this from the ultimate end of the Antichrist.

While the Antichrist will appear to be very successful for a time, that success will not continue. He will rule the world and fill himself with inexorable pride. That pride will lead him finally to make war on God himself. Does he succeed in dethroning God? No, indeed. Notice what the Bible teaches about the dreadful consequences that will come upon the man of sin:

1. He and his power will be destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:8).

2. The saints of God will share in the final defeat

of the Antichrist when Jesus comes again (Rev. 19:14).

3. The Antichrist and the false prophet, his religious associate who wrought miracles and deceived the world, will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20).

4. He is found in that lake of fire a thousand years later, and there the beast and the false prophet will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10).

This remarkable scenario comes to us from the prophetic Word and should be the object of great attention by believers in our time.

To Rule the World

Seeing these things in the Word of God, perceptive readers of Holy Scripture should then also take notice of the circumstances in our current history. The present disturbances in Europe, along with newly formed United States of Europe, cannot be ignored. Such a historical development comes closer than anything the world has ever seen to the scenario described in the Word of God.

A revived and reconstituted Europe, in the very nature of things, must produce military power and a great political leader. It must also finally produce religious unity under a great spiritual leader as well. The conjoining of these two bases, political and religious, will make of Europe a power that will soon aspire to rule the world. All of these considerations are presented in the prophetic Word and are the near- predictable results of this present development, even to the casual, secular observer.

A friend recently called me and said, “Dave, I’ve just been to Germany and have visited the Berlin Wall.” This was followed by a most fascinating conversation.

My correspondent said with earnest concern, “I can tell you that in Berlin today and across Germany there is being born a new, most dynamic spirit the like of which I have never seen before in my life. These people truly believe that the dawn of a new age is coming. They are confident that there will be a revived, unified Europe that will lead the world. They believe that the breakdown of the Communist system in Eastern Europe and the development of the European economic community, soon to be followed by the United States of Europe, will escalate Europe into influence such as it has never seen before. They are confident that a world economy will now develop with Europe taking the lead, and they use those very words.”

My correspondent then said, “I was absolutely amazed to see the utter dynamism on the part of the thinking of the people of Europe. I wanted to take the time to call you because what is reported in the press is merely a pale representation of the real scene there. The people of Germany and the balance of Europe have boundless enthusiasm and the most ambitious set of ideas for the future that Ive ever seen in any culture in my entire life.

Eyewitness reports like this are coming in from Europe by all who visit and see the amazing developments taking place. Living in times like these should cause believers everywhere to commit themselves to a new and sober reflection as to analyzing the tide of our times. We should be thinking more deeply, praying more sincerely, and laboring with the totality of our efforts for Christ to be adequate for the challenge of times like these.

What Should We Do?

There is an important final consideration that the student of the prophetic Word win never ignore. After the Bible tens us that there will be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, it says that on the earth will be “distress of nations, with perplexity.”

This is a reminder that the brightest secular rulers of the world will simply not know what to do or be able to handle the situation. It then follows this by saying that the very hearts of men will fail them for fear and for looking after those things that are soon to come to pass, predicting that the powers of heaven will be shaken. These are the words of Jesus in Luke 21:25-26.

After saying this, Christ then warned the world with the announcement that these events would be followed by the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Surely this announcement should cause every one of us to at least allow for the possibility that our generation is speeding toward the consummation of history.

Many then ask the question, “What should I do?” The answer comes from the Lord Jesus when He said, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Out of this, we have words of eternal encouragement to every person who has believed the gospel of Christ. Having believed in Jesus, His person, and His death upon the cross, one becomes a Christian and the inheritor of everlasting life. The developments of our time should cause every believer to look forward with greater anticipation than ever to his translation from this world to the world that is to come. He should look up for a redemption that draws nigh.

These events should have a second result. For everyone who has not yet believed in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, the Bible warns them that there is terror, judgment, and condemnation to come. The amazing unfolding of the events of these times should cause each person who is not a Christian to face the fact that they are lost without Christ.

Each person, then, who is not a Christian does well to ask the question, “What shall I do?” The answer is very clear in the Word of God. In order to be a Christian the Bible says to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31). It announces very clearly that “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). The eternal destiny of your life depends on whether you do or do not believe in Jesus Christ.

Looking at the events of our day, at the Middle East, at Europe, at the United States, at our beleaguered world, we are forced to agree that the biblical picture of the future is true. The earnest recommendation that we have for all, then, is to be sure that you have received redemption in Jesus Christ.

The Bible promises you “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Make this the day you believe the gospel! The gospel is the marvelous announcement that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Believing this opens the door to life eternal!

Salvation, then, is a most urgent call. The events of our time add to that urgency. “Now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation.”

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