By surrendering their national sovereignty and switching to the Euro, the once weak nations of Europe are gaining economic power as a unit. Nations all over the world have to pay attention to the economic clout of the European Union and the tentacles of its regulations.
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Jonathan Bowen joining you.
This week we go to Brussels, the heart of the European Union termed “the beast” in the book of Revelation.
Power Through Regulation
Over the past few months the European Union has been waging war on American industry to break what they claim are unfair monopolies. This has come to light in a ruling by the European Commission against Microsoft. The politics and business of this specific lawsuit are of no interest to us – what is, is the clout the European Union is wielding around the world with its regulations. An article in the Economist Magazine September 20, 2007 entitled, How the European Union is becoming the world's chief regulator, states:
“One American official says flatly that the EU is “winning” the regulatory race, adding: “And there is a sense that that is their precise intent.” He cites a speech by the trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, claiming that the export of “our rules and standards around the world” was one source of European power.”
The article carries a picture of an EU business man dressed posed in Napoleonic form armed with his regulations. The article states,
“Some Eurocrats suggest that the philosophical gap reflects the American constitutional tradition that everything is allowed unless it is forbidden, against the Napoleonic tradition codifying what the state allows and banning everything else.”
What is interesting to note in this ruling is that it involves two American companies. The European Union is exerting regulatory power over American businesses and they have no choice but to swallow it. This isn’t the first time.
European Standard - the New World-Wide Standard
In the late 1980’s, in a lecture at the University of Quebec entitled “An Economic Revolution,” Nobel prize winning economist Lester Thurow, former dean of Sloan School of Management at MIT stated the following:
"It has always been one of the rights and privileges of the largest market to write the rules for world trade. If you guard the gates to the world’s largest market and say, “this is how you are going to play my game,” that very quickly becomes the world game. That is why the British wrote the rules for the world game in the 19th Century, and it is why the United States or North America wrote the rules for world trade in the 20th Century. But by that standard, one of the reasons why you want to keep your eye on the Common Market, is the rules for the world game are currently being written by the Common Market (EU). They aren’t just writing the rules for the common market, as they write the rules for the common market it will be clear a decade from now that those rules are world rules…. You can see it very clear if you look at manufacturing firms today in the world economy. What are they all trying to do? They are all trying to get themselves certified in ISO 9000, which is a quality standard. That is a European quality standard. Every firm in North America now has to meet a European quality standard."
Professor Thurow’s prediction is coming true. In a more recent book, The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, Mr. T.R. Reid cites an example of a proposed merger between General Electric and Honeywell. Both companies are American – but the European Union ruled that if the companies merged they would be banned from Europe because they would constitution too large a monopoly. Even though the Federal Court in the United States had already given its approval, the companies could not go ahead for fear of losing the massive European Market. Before the Second World War companies conformed to the rules and regulations of Britain because it was the dominant power. Britain’s economic influence was crushed during the Second World War and the mantle was taken over by the United States. For the past sixty years the world has marched to the beat of the American drum, but now that is changing rapidly. The author states,
“The power that gave Europe the authority to say no, he explained, was plain enough: sheer market power. The unification of the continent has produced a single market bigger than the United States or Japan. American companies can no longer say, “To heck with Europe,” because they need access to the huge European Market…. [Jack Welch of Honeywell stated:] “We have to do business with Europe, so we have no choice but to respect their law”” (p105).
What does this have to do with Bible Prophecy?
By now you are probably wondering what economics involving America and Europe have to do with the Bible?
Well the book of Revelation describes the nations of Europe as the scarlet coloured beast with 10 horn-kings of Revelation chapter 17. The Bible tells us,
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)
Individually, these powers receive no “kingdom” but receive “power as kings” when they give their “power and strength unto the beast”. Strong’s Concordance defines the first word “power” (#1849), which they receive, as “the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed). Universally, authority over mankind.”
In order to obtain this “power” they must give up their power (Greek dunamis) and their strength (Greek exousia). Dunamis, or power, is defined by Liddle & Scotts Greek Lexicon as, “might or authority, military forces” but also “the worth or value of money”. Exousia, or strength, is defined by Strong’s as, “the power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases… the power of rule or government… power of judicial decisions … authority to manage domestic affairs…” By surrendering their individual military and monetary forces as well as their liberty of doing what they please on the domestic front they become powerful the beast, or European Union, for a limited period of time.
This is clearly seen in these rulings. Individual countries could never take on American super giant corporations – but as an economic and political block they yield the great influence.
The Powerful of the Euro
By surrendering power of rule or government to the European Union and exchanging local currency for the Euro, the nations of Europe have power and influence as a block. This influence is being exercised over other nations around the world including the United States of America.
The United Kingdom's pound sterling was the primary reserve currency of much of the world in the 18th and 19th centuries. The dire economic cost of fighting the Second World War, and the increasing dominance of the USA in world economics, resulted in Sterling losing its status as the world's most powerful currency.
Now the Euro is climbing the ladder. Reuters, on September 17, 2007, quoted former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as saying, it is “absolutely conceivable that the euro will replace the dollar as reserve currency, or will be traded as an equally important reserve currency.” He stated, “the European Central Bank had "developed into a global economic force to be taken seriously.” US Senator Ron Paul stated in January of this year, “the euro, the new currency created only five years ago and used by most European nations, has supplanted the U.S. dollar as the most widely used form of cash internationally. There are now more Euros in circulation worldwide than dollars”.
Nations still hold more America currency reserves (66.7%) than any other currency. However, the Euro had risen to 25% by 2006. In September of this year, Venezuela announced it was replacing much of its US Dollar reserve with Euros. Iran has followed suit this week demanding that trading for oil be done in Yen or Euros.
If this trend increases America could be in serious financial trouble. In June 2006, Thomas Palley of the Gobal Policy Forum stated, “the US government gets… an interest-free loan, from the hundreds of millions in dollar bills held offshore. Printing a $100 bill is almost costless to the US government, but foreigners must give more than $100 of resources to get the bill. That’s a tidy profit for US taxpayers.”
The US governmental budgets depends on the purchase of US dollars and the revenues these bring. If countries continue to move toward the Euro, America will be in trouble.
This phenomenon is the fulfillment of Revelation 17. By subordinating their economic, political and military power to the European Union, small powerless nations are able to take on the mighty United States of America. The US will continue as a forced to be reckoned with, for Daniel 11:40 tells us, it will push at the King of the North in the time of the end triggering an invasion of the Middle East.
However, Europe will continue to grow stronger. Eventually they will believe they are strong enough, to take on the Lord Jesus Christ himself, when he returns, “These shall make war with the Lamb.” However, they wont get very far, for “the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14).
As we watch the Bible in the News, let us make sure that we are faithful to the call so that we can be amongst the chosen when the Lord Returns.
Join us next week for another edition of Bible in the News. www.bibleinthenews.com.