The Greek Crisis and the Future of Europe
What does Bible Prophecy say?
Sunday, June 19, 2011
www.bibleinthenews.com Audio & Print versions
Welcome to Bible in the News, this is David Billington with you. Greece is again descending into chaos; having a weak tottering government, the street of Athens erupting into violence with protestors revolting over the austerity measures and the banking system on the verge of collapse. Other European banks have a large exposure to Greek debt and there is again a dangerous risk of contagion. If Greece defaults on it loans, the effects could cause catastrophe for other weak Eurozone economies. These events would spread ripples throughout the financial system worldwide.
To demonstrate how real the threat is, it has been reported in the UK Telegraph that some British banks have been transferring money out of Europe’s inter-bank funding markets and shifting billions of dollars to Asia. Alan Greenspan, the rather famous former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has said: “The chances of Greece not defaulting are very small.”
The Greeks are angry because of austerity - cutbacks, unemployment, corrupt leaders who they say got them into debt and so forth. The Germans are angry because they have to pay for the Greeks unresponsible fiscal policies. It seems there is plenty of anger to go around and the crisis hasn't even hit yet. This is a small picture what it will be like when the European project, known prophetically in the Bible as "Babylon the Great", completely collapses when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth and judges them.
"And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more" (Revelation 18:9-11)
Today, however, from the Bible, we expect Europe to be unifying rather than disintegrating. In Revelation the beast is a symbol used to track the Roman Empire through it's various phases; from Pagan Rome, to the Holy Roman Empire and so on. The meaning of this symbol is found by examining other scriptures and allowing the Bible to interpret itself. The prophecy of Daniel's four beasts, portraying the kingdom of men, allows us to see that the beast in Revelation does in fact symbolize the Roman Empire. Revelation 13:2 demonstrates to us that these two prophecies go hand in hand. All four of the beasts described by Daniel chapter 7 can be found here.
"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."
Here we find the lion, bear, leopard and great and terrible beast of Daniel 7. In Daniel 7 the lion clearly depicted Babylon. The power of Babylon was transferred to the Medo-Persian Empire represented by the bear. The powers of this empire were then transferred to the four headed Grecian Leopard and then finally to the Roman great and terrible beast. The book of Revelation continues the story and fills in for the servants of Christ, the continuing saga of the phases of this Roman Empire - an empire which has persecuted them down through the centuries.
The Economist magazine in an article about the Euro Crisis, under the sub-heading "Charlemagne’s coin", points out an interesting historical point with regards to the Euro.
"Europe’s creation of a single currency remains both futuristic and weighted with history. At a conference about the ECB on June 10th, Volker Wieland, an economist at Goethe University in Frankfurt, said that the euro was the first venture on such a scale in Europe since Charlemagne created a single currency in his empire in 794."
Charlemagne ruled the "Holy Roman Empire", this is depicted in Revelation as the Beast of the Earth (Revelation 13:11). Today the Roman Church's vision is for a revival of this powerful empire. This is what we expect from Bible prophecy. This later-day phase of the Roman Empire is pictured prophetically by a scarlet coloured beast in Revelation 17:3.
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." (Revelation 17:3)
A little later in the chapter we are given more information as regards the identity of the ten horns.
"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."
Here we see that the nations of Europe will hand over their sovereignty to the beast empire. This is the issue today at stake in Europe. The monetary union only, has proven to be unworkable. Europe must decide if they will proceed to complete integration - monetary and political, or disband the union based mostly on the common currency as being unworkable. The Economist article comments on this "bigger issue".
"But a still bigger issue is at stake. Even if the European Council manages to cobble together a compromise that buys time for Greece, the fear is that Europe’s bold experiment—creating a monetary union among diverse economies without the underpinning of a fiscal union—may have been too audacious. If it founders, this would be an extraordinary setback for the larger cause of European integration."
There may be some setbacks, but the road to integration in Europe will ultimately be unstoppable. The kings of Europe will surrender their power and strength unto the beast. The inherent antisemitism in Europe, largely stemming from the teaching of the Roman Church will cause this Empire to oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, when he reestablishes the Jewish kingdom in Israel. Revelation 17 continues in verse 14: These shall make war with the Lamb, and 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."
So it is that we watch the financial crisis in Europe with keen interest, as the big question is the future of the European Union and what shape it will take. This is a riveting topic for watchers of Bible Prophecy. Thanks for listening and come back next week, God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com.
Printed: Sunday, June 19, 2011
Visit www.bibleinthenews.com for a weekly analysis of world politics in the light
of Bible prophecy!