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The Rising European Empire
The Divided Arab World
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December 3, 2010 - Audio, 10.00 MIN
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When one considers the European debt crisis; including the EU Greek bailout, the recent bailout of Ireland, the almost inevitable bail out of Portugal, and with Spain another likely potential for a debt crisis, one may consider the European project in danger. Indeed many are openly stating that the Euro could be finished. The Guardian Newspaper in the UK reported that: "The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned for the first time that her country could abandon the euro if she fails in her contested campaign to establish a new regime for the single currency..." However Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon was quoted by the Economist as saying: "Not only do we find it difficult to imagine how a nation could disentangle itself from the single currency... but we also take seriously the fact that the Maastricht Treaty envisioned entry into the euro as being irrevocable" So while it seems unlikely that the Euro or European project will end, it does seem that the European Union is in for a period of vast change - and that is interesting for watchers of Bible Prophecy.
Nigel Farage who heads the UK Independence Party and a British Member of Parliament recently made some very interesting comments on a Television interview in the UK.

"Look of course there has been a global recession, of course everybody has been effected, but the point about this is that we're going for economic and monetary union across the European Union with countries that have such different and divergent currencies, that I mean we learnt ourselves with the exchange rate mechanism 20 years ago that we weren't suited to it, sadly for the Greeks the Irish and probably soon the Portuguese they're having to learn the hard way. And what you need in a recession and what you need in a Global economy, which we are now living in, is you need flexibility and adaptability and when you join the Euro you give away control over interest rates and now that they have been bailed out, they've given away the ability to decide their own budgets. Greece and Ireland have now become protectorates of the European Union, they've lost their democracy, they've lost their self government..."

We see then that the sovereignty of nations is slipping from their grasp and they are becoming part of an emerging German led empire. Another part of the interview with Nigel Farage is also worth listening to:

Interviewer: "Why would the Zone accept new members amid all this struggle?"
"Oh because this is an empire. Mr. Barroso once said, I think two years ago, he said that the European Union was the first ever non-military empire and what empires try to do is to expand, so they will have Estonia into the Euro and they'll try and make Croatia join the European Union next year or the year after."

The European Union then, according to Mr. Barroso, current President of the European Commission, sees itself as a non-military empire. But we understand from Bible prophecy that this will not always remain so.

Talks this week between Russia's Putin and Germany's Merkel went well, with much talk of a free-trade zone between Europe and Russia. If Russia joins the European project it will no longer be a non-military empire.

In 1997 John Laughland wrote a book largely on the political aspect of the United European idea. He saw that the union was not to be only Western Europe but including Russia as well. Since he wrote we have seen the birth of the European currency on January 1st 2002 and now the Euros are a part of daily life for over 300 million Europeans living in the euro area. He wrote about the European vision of a united continent in these terms: "The idea is then to construct a pan-European security architecture with Russia. In other words, the institutional reforms which are being undertaken in Western Europe, especially the institutionalization of the hard core through monetary union, are the necessary prerequisite for the larger vision of one single politico-military system for the whole European continent... The hard core in the West is to be the Western 'pillar' of a pan-European security structure, of which the Eastern 'pillar' will presumably be Russia and her associated states."

These two pillars, one Eastern and one Western will immediately cause students of Bible prophecy to the think of the vision of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. The prophecy in Daniel 2 is a depiction of successive world empires by means of a metallic image. The purpose of the prophecy is stated in verse 28 - it was to show "what shall be in the latter days". These latter days are when the image is broken by a stone representing the kingdom of Jesus Christ. This kingdom will be established on the earth, centred in Israel. We read about this in Daniel 2:44-45 where it clearly tells how the kingdom of God will break in pieces the Image Empire:

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."

The interpretation is sure and plain. We are told that the ancient kingdom of Babylon was the head of Gold. The subsequent empire was the Medes and Persians depicted by the chest and arms of silver, after this the Greeks arose - the belly and thighs of brass, then the Roman legs of Iron and finally a mixed state of Iron and clay in the feet. The dream was certain, for the Roman Empire split into the East and the West. The Western Empire centered in Rome and the Eastern leg centered in Constantinople. Finally the Roman Empire in the West was broken down by Barbarian invasions and the East was broken by the Muslims and then the Turks. Constantinople eventually fell to the Turks and the seat of the Empire effectively moved to Moscow - which became known as the "Third Rome". Europe became a fractured state of Iron and clay, especially after the French Revolution. Democratic nations of "the people" mixed with nations who held to the authoritarian roots of Iron Rome. Yet the prophecy in Daniel provides even more detail which is applicable to today. In verse 34 and 35 and we read:

"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

So the image is to be "broken to pieces together". This means that the image must stand together in the latter day. The image empire of men must stand so that it may be broken. This is what we see coming to pass in Europe today. We see a rising empire with Roman roots, centered on the Roman Catholic religion.

This prophecy is a parallel with Ezekiel's prophecy in chapter 38, which we have considered many times on The Bible in the News. There the latter day image empire is described as a great military power that invades the Middle East and the mountains of Israel in particular. In Ezekiel 38 we also see how the Arab world will be divided at the time of the end. This is something that has come to light this last week over the "unconfirmed" revelations of Wikileaks. We already knew that the Arab world was divided roughly along the lines described in Ezekiel 38 - Persia (Iran), Ethiopia and Libya on one side and Sheba and Dedan on the other. However, Wikileaks has highlighted how stark the division really is. The Guardian paper in the UK commenting on Wikileaks noted the following:

"King Abdullah was shown to have repeatedly urged the US to attack Iran to "cut off the head of the snake""

"Mainstream Arab media have covered the story of the leak. But little attention has been paid to the most sensational aspect of it for the region – that Saudis, Bahrainis, Emiratis and other leaders repeatedly urged the US to strike Iran to stop its nuclear programme."

World events continue to move in the direction that we would expect from Bible prophecy. I'm sure that we will have more to comment upon these events as they unfold, God Willing. So come back next week: This has been David Billington with you.

Bible in the News provides a weekly analysis of world politics and events
in the light of Bible prophecy — the Bible in the News!