Out of the Ashes

The Rise of Europe – Part 2

The European Union has become a significant economic and diplomatic force. World events and an eventual alliance with the Vatican will soon propel it to become the seventh and final restoration of the Holy Roman Empire—a power that will truly “shock and awe” all nations, effectively fulfilling an important role in God’s Plan for humanity. This awesome event will unfold before your very eyes.

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The world has reached a significant and historic juncture. Many feel this, with the advent of a U.S.-led war against Iraq. The diplomatic wrangling between former allies, especially between the U.S. and France, leading up to the military action, was virtually unheard of until recently, and somewhat shocking and disturbing to most. Unfortunately, however, the war itself quickly turned the focus of many away from the significance of what occurred, the climate that it has created, and its future implications.

History has shown that world powers, great civilizations or empires rise and fall. There is no denying the facts that the British Empire is but a distant memory, that Russia is a shadow of its former self, and that the United States is bound for this same end. In fact, Bible prophecy is quite clear on this.

Most of those with a realistic outlook would agree that socially, the U.S. is on the brink of disaster. The American family and work ethic are fading fast—if not gone already. Some would even argue that America’s economic, political and diplomatic power and might are already significantly declining. Recent events have proven that the U.S. is no longer able to influence the opinions of other nations as it once did. That leaves, finally, the strength of America’s military, which seemingly remains unrivalled and nearly invincible. But again, Bible prophecy indicates otherwise—God will, in fact, miraculously break the “pride of [her] power” (Lev. 26:19), and then the American Empire will, like the others before it, reach its conclusion.

The end of the Cold War and the temporary decline of Russia as a superpower essentially left the U.S. alone on top of the world. This unrivalled power and the absence of a balancing power created a vacuum. Most nations do not like the idea of America being the world’s only superpower. In addition, the decline of America’s own strength will also create a vacuum. Both of these vacuums will need to be filled.

In an article from The EUObserver, former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton pointed out that the U.S., with its heavy borrowing, huge trade deficit and mounting pension bill, cannot sustain its current power. And Europe, Bruton implies, must be proactive in dealing with this situation. We saw in Part 1 of this series the amazing resiliency of the European continent, and the speed at which it was able to rebuild itself (boosted by the Marshall Plan), since its near-destruction after World War II, into the economic powerhouse that it is today. That economic might has enabled Europe to throw its diplomatic weight around—we have witnessed this in recent months.

Some may scoff and doubt Europe’s military might. These people need only study Germany’s history to realize the ability of this proud, industrious and war-loving people to quickly (and quietly) alter their military status—they have proven that unquenchable resilience time and again. Also keep in mind the nuclear capabilities of France, the military assets (including nuclear missiles) still deployed in some eastern European nations as remnants of the Cold War, as well as a Europe-Russia military alliance.

Others may argue that socially, Europe is not very different from the U.S. However, history has also shown that many countries in Europe have had, and still do have, a special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. Do not doubt history!

Bible prophecy, or history written in advance, indicates that this relationship will once again be renewed—Daniel 7 pictures a beast with 10 horns, the last seven of which are ruled by a little horn. Revelation 13 pictures a beast with a seventh head having 10 horns. Revelation 17 pictures a great harlot riding a beast with seven heads, the seventh of which has 10 horns. All of these portray a soon-coming, unified European/Vatican power. (For a detailed explanation, read our free booklet Who or What Is the Beast of Revelation?)

Prophecy stands sure! The Roman Catholic Church will soon provide the moving force and empowerment Europe needs to become the next world superpower—this seventh and final restoration of the Holy Roman Empire.

Current Events

To place current events into context, and to understand their future implications, we have to go back to a watershed moment in recent world history—September 11, 2001.

The attack on America by Islamic extremists did create a short period of pro-American sentiment. Nearly every nation in the world, including France, Germany, Russia and China, expressed their sorrow and condolences to the American people, along with their support for an international “war on terrorism.”

The war in Afghanistan, to rid that country of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda training camps, was a multi-national effort with eventual success. A few months later, however, one would be hard-pressed to see any remnants of that original support. France and Germany had suddenly united themselves in what seemed to be a very anti-American stance. During this same time, the EU has been busy working on its Convention on the Future of Europe, which will eventually produce a European Constitution and President.

Many will recall the “Hitler-Bush” statement made by the German Minister of Justice during the summer of 2002. The media and most of the world attached no meaning to this, eventually dismissing it as political rhetoric only necessary to ensure Chancellor Schröder’s re-election.

However, in a very telling article for The National Review titled “Remembrance of Things Past—The German Way,” Victor Davis Hanson described that infamous statement as a sign of a much deeper—but historically familiar—socio-political thought process. He pointed out several other statements from electioneering politicians: Jürgen Möllemann of the Free Democrats spoke of the “intolerant, spiteful style” of some prominent Jews. Former Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping complained that President Bush was trying to please “a powerful, perhaps overly powerful, Jewish lobby.” Schröder himself promised that Germany would not simply “click their heels,” then referred to the “German way,” and said that Germany’s decisions would “be made in Berlin—and only in Berlin.”

Some may insist that all of this is political rhetoric, but Davis concluded his article with these chilling words: “Mr. Schröder has no idea of the repressed historic forces that he has unleashed both at home and abroad—but unleashed them he most certainly has.”

At issue in 2002, regarding defense and security, was the UK’s vision that the new European and Security Defence Policy (ESDP) maintain strong institutional links with NATO, while France viewed it as a more distant, eventually independent structure. Indeed, by mid-January 2003, Gustav Hägglund, chairman of the Military Committee of the European Union, announced that the European part of NATO and the ESDP would merge.

This essentially gives Europe an immediate military structure (largely paid for by the U.S.) and, although basic, it is almost continental. France and Germany, in the meantime, released several joint proposals regarding European defense and security. This includes, as reported in The Telegraph, a proposal to the Convention on the Future of Europe for a new “Euro Army” that would eventually cut all ties with whatever remains of NATO and go far beyond the 60,000-troop “rapid reaction force” that was initially in the works. France and Germany even indicated that they might proceed with implementation of this plan regardless of acceptance by the EU.

The timing of this Franco-German alliance and U.S.-led war in Iraq is also of some interest. An article by William Safire in the International Herald Tribune indicated that the recent split between U.S./U.K. and mainland Europe (controlled and fronted largely by France and Germany) is all by German design. Case in point: France was poised to deploy troops and its aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf early this year, when quite suddenly they seemed to do an about-face.

It appears that Schröder made an offer to Chirac that he simply could not refuse: Let us reignite the Franco-German motor and control all of Europe. We will propose a long-term President for the EU that would coincide with but dominate any President of the European Commission that the Parliament chooses. In return, France had to turn their back on promises made to the U.S. in regard to the coming war on Iraq.

France apparently had told Colin Powell last autumn that no second UN resolution would be necessary. Quite suddenly then, France surprisingly threatened to veto any second resolution. The U.S. had insisted all along that no second resolution was necessary. It appears that Germany’s intention may now be to cut away the Atlantic part of the NATO alliance, essentially leaving the U.S. and the UK on their own, and France and Germany to go their own way, controlling the rest of Europe and building their new superpower.

The pre-war wrangling between France, Germany, the U.S. and the UK, has had significant and lasting effects. An April 2003 visit to the EU by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was, for all intents and purposes, an attempt by both parties to “mend fences,” but if the above Franco-German deal is indeed solid, time will tell that there may be no such fence left to mend.

A European Constitution and President

The Convention on the Future of Europe, headed by former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, is due to release its final proposals to the heads of member states during the spring and early summer of 2003. The main points of significance will be a European Constitution and a European President. Some other interesting proposals include:

• A constitutional treaty that may replace and supersede all previous ones (including the two current main ones that created the European Community and the European Union).

• A new name (one proposal is the “United States of Europe”).

• The governments of EU member states would get one chance to ratify this new constitution. If their citizenry (in a referendum) or their government fails to accept the new treaty, they may find themselves out of the new Europe.

• A European Congress made up of European and national parliamentarians.

• A President appointed by Congress. (The Financial Times reported in January 2003 that German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is even pushing for the President to be head of both the European Commission and the European Council—which would essentially make him a very powerful President of Europe, especially if he is appointed by a “Congress” as opposed to voted in by the people.)

• Europe’s ability to sign treaties and sit on international bodies (e.g., the United Nations).

• European citizenship (that may eventually supersede and/or replace national citizenship).

The European Commissioners for France and Germany, as reported in The EUObserver, even called for a Franco-German federation as the beginning of what some refer to as the “Core Europe.” The proposal indicates that members of this federation would have common governmental institutions, as well as common foreign, security and financial policies. There is some fear among European politicians that the power of the EU will be diminished when it reaches 25 countries in 2004. To counter this watering-down effect, a German named Wolfgang Schäuble introduced the idea of a “Core Europe” during the 1990s. The intention, it is made clear, is not to “build an island without bridges to the European Union.” Other EU countries would be permitted to join this new “Core Europe” if and when they share the goals of the initial Franco-German federation.

As Stephen Castle reported in The Independent, some of the stated objectives of the United States of Europe would be “economic and social cohesion, protection of common values, high employment, liberty, security and justice, foreign policy.”

Yet, despite these noble-sounding and lofty objectives, the Daniel 2 image with two feet and ten toes made of a mixture of iron and clay, which represents this final restoration of the Holy Roman Empire, indicates that there will be elements of both strength and weakness. The strength will come from the iron—the weakness from it being mixed with clay—the fact that ten “kings” or nations will have to unite and agree with the one ruler over them and his alliance with the Roman Catholic Church.

An Important Alliance—Church and State

The Vatican has been closely monitoring the proceedings of the Convention on the Future of Europe, and providing input. At each step, it seems that important European politicians are headed to Rome for a visit with the Pope and other Vatican advisors. The Vatican’s position is made obvious, as indicated by parts of the Pope’s address to the Italian parliament in November of 2002: “If lasting stability is to be given to the new unity of Europe, there must be a commitment to ensuring that it is supported on those ethical foundations which were once its basis” (The New York Times).

The Pope went on to say that it was important to ensure that it is built with “the cement of that extraordinary religious, cultural and civic heritage that has made Europe great down through the centuries” (The Financial Times). He then pleaded, “Europe, at the beginning of the new millennium, open once again your doors to Christ” (The New York Times).

With some rather interesting language, the Vatican, through its semi-official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, commented on Europe’s decision to accept 10 new countries in 2004. The headline read, “New Europe Is Born,” and the article stated that the continent “has not missed the appointment with history.”

The Catholic Church in Poland has been particularly determined in regard to this issue, and hopes to make “Christian values” definite in all of Europe. Prominent religious leader Zosef Zycinski said, “We do not have the right to use the stones of the Berlin wall to build a new tower of Babel without Christian foundations” (EUObserver).

Although the requested mention of Europe’s “Christian heritage” in the new Constitution has received most of the media’s attention, some of the other requests are even more significant. According to a report from the Zenit News Agency, Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, stated that the Catholic Church is looking for the following three issues to be covered in Europe’s upcoming Constitution:

• Each church and/or religion must be free to organize itself within its “statutes and objectives.” [Editor’s note: Will this guarantee be above national laws?]

• The identities of each church and/ or religion must be “safeguarded,” and dialogue between these institutions and the State must be maintained. [Editor’s note: The Roman Catholic Church is looking to be treated as a state-equal, and is insisting that the usual political and diplomatic ties are maintained between Europe and The Vatican.]

• Member states must “respect” the jurisdiction of the church and/or religion, especially in regard to national legislation. [Editor’s note: This essentially answers the question posed above: Yes, the guarantee will indeed be above national laws.]

Cardinal Sodano pointed out that the inclusion of Europe’s “religious heritage” is not the weightiest of matters. He went on to indicate that a recent poll, taken in the 15 member states and the 10 states awaiting admission (in 2004), shows that 81% of the citizens identify themselves with “Christianity.” Sodano said, “To exclude this factor would be like constructing Europe without taking Europeans in due consideration. It would contradict the principles of genuine pluralism and, therefore, of a healthy democracy.”

To really envision how the new Europe—this final Holy Roman Empire—will benefit from an alliance with the Vatican, and what the two will do to those under and around them, we must also look at historical examples, including some from previous occurrences of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Harper Collins Encyclopaedia of Catholicism gives us a synopsis of the first two emperors. Justinian I (527 to 565) produced codes of legislation that served the empire well and influenced, during and after his reign, both civil and church law. Charlemagne (800 to 814) subdued, in 774, the Lombards, who had been threatening Rome. As emperor, he was able to exercise great influence over the Vatican.

Due to further military conquests and protection given to the Catholic domain, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans” on Christmas Day, 800. Charlemagne’s vision of a united European commonwealth based on the concepts of “renewed learning” and “religious unity” was indeed successful because he, through his influence and alliance with the Pope, was able to control almost every aspect of secular and religious life, including episcopal appointments, reforms, and the summoning and presiding at all church councils.

Once again, in the mid-900s, the Vatican, this time under Pope John XII, appealed to German king Otto I for protection from Berengar, the count of Ivrea. In recognition of his services, Otto was crowned Emperor (the third of seven) by the Pope in February 962. Otto and John XII drew up the Ottonianum, an agreement of mutual dependency, which contained clauses stating that any new pope must fulfill all obligations to the emperor. In return, the emperor would provide protection to the church and its interests (The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe, p. 187).

In 1208, Pope Innocent III organized the Albigensian Crusade, backed by many of the authorities in northern, pro-Catholic France, the objective of which was to eliminate a determined group of Sabbath-keepers in southern France, the Waldenses. Refusing orders from the church to subjugate the Waldenses, the civil authorities in that region paid the ultimate price—destruction at the hands of this horrendous, church-sanctified crusade. The Roman Catholic Church expected all civil authorities to submit to her—those who refused would be harshly dealt with.

This crusade literally destroyed the Provencal civilization, one of the most brilliant in Europe at that time. In the wake of the 20-year campaign, this decimated region became completely backward, and subservient to Paris and Rome.

To completely eliminate further religious objections, Rome instituted the infamous Inquisition. Anyone even suspected of sympathizing with “heretics” was sentenced to severe punishment by papal decree. For the next hundred years, confiscations, imprisonments, burnings and every imaginable form of persecution were implemented to stamp out those who dared to differ with Rome (see our booklet Where Is the True Church? – and Its Incredible History!, ch. 4).

Blum, Cameron and Barnes had this to say in regard to Europe, Europeans and the Roman Catholic Church, prior to the Reformation:

“In 1500 Europeans generally still spoke of Christendom rather than Europe to denote the greater entity to which they belonged. The distinction is significant. Europe is a secular concept that came into vogue only in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Christendom was a spiritual concept, ideationally, not geographically, descriptive. It bore witness to the unity of Western men under the apostolic Church of Rome.

“All except pockets of religious minorities—the Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians in eastern Europe, Moslems—worshipped according to the same basic rites, accepted the Church’s claim that it alone held the keys to salvation, and recognized the pope as the final authority on matter of Church government, faith, and morals” (The European World—A History, p. 118).

Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus (whose members were later and more commonly known as the Jesuits) in 1540, during Charles V’s reign as emperor of the fourth restoration. It operated under direct papal command, with the objectives during the counter-reformation to “convert the heathen, to reconvert the lapsed, and, above all, to educate” (Norman Davies, Europe—A History, p. 496).

Some quotes from its founder, Íñigo López de Recalde (better known as Ignatius Loyola, his official Catholic name) include: “I have never left the Army,” “I have only been seconded to the service of God,” and “Give me a boy at the age of seven, and he will be mine for ever.” Eventually, the Jesuits came to be known as the church’s “secret police” and were eventually assumed to be accountable to no one. Their power was somewhat reduced in 1773, but reinstated in 1814.

The sixth restoration of the Holy Roman Empire, culminating in the Hitler/Mussolini Axis power during World War II, is perhaps the most familiar to most readers, as it is the most recent. The decades leading up to 1939 were dark ones for many countries. Since the unification of Italy in 1870, the Italian civil government had not enjoyed very good relations with the church.

In 1922, with fascist forces marching on Rome, King Victor Emmanuel III was essentially forced to ask Mussolini to form a new government. In 1929, however, Pope Pius XI and Mussolini signed the conciliatory Lateran Treaty, which, among other things, restored some African countries as Italian territory, guaranteed the role of the church in the life of Italy, especially as the official religion and educator, and gave the pope’s approval for Mussolini’s dictatorship.

In Germany, Hitler was named Chancellor in January 1933 and, with support of the Catholic Center Party, was able to pass the Enabling Act in April, essentially giving him emergency dictatorial powers. By the summer, Germany and the Vatican had signed a Concordat to protect the church’s rights.

In his book Hitler’s Pope, The Secret History of Pius XII, John Cornwell pointed out that Pope Pius XII failed to denounce Hitler and Nazism in his October 1939 encyclical (pp. 233-234).

In addition, Cornwell made evident Pius’ silence in regard to the reports that became known during the early years of the war, of Germany’s mass execution of Jews, citing, “Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, had a long history of anti-Judaism on religious grounds that had by no means abated in the twentieth century” (p. 280).

Anti-Americanism, Anti-Anglicism and Anti-Semitism

We mentioned earlier the dramatic swing in world opinion toward America after September 11, 2001 and leading up to the war in Iraq. This is especially the case in some European countries that were traditionally loyal American allies. Suddenly, however, it had become very popular to hate America, and, by extension due to their loyal support, the UK.

A poll conducted in late 2002, by the non-partisan Pew Research Center (Washington, D.C.), in association with the International Herald Tribune (Neuilly Cedex, France), found that large percentages of Germans, French and Russians opposed any war against Iraq. They believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is much more important to Middle East stability, and are generally suspicious of American motives.

At the annual meeting (January 2003) of the World Economic Forum, the outlook was bleak, and all fingers pointed in blame to the United States. A year of corporate scandals, rotating executives, and falling stocks, combined with the threat of war, all provided good ammunition for such pessimistic feelings. And all of these issues are almost directly related to the U.S.

There was concern that a war in Iraq would almost certainly drive up oil and gasoline prices, and increase the likelihood of another terrorist attack, both of which would have tremendously detrimental effects on consumer confidence. Almost every nation seemed to be looking to the U.S. economy as the leading indicator of any sort of global recovery.

A report by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia found that, as has been somewhat the norm at certain times throughout history, social and economic factors are again fueling racial prejudice against Jews, and that these prejudices are on the verge of becoming acceptable. Typically, the coverage by European media, and most political statements by governments, in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have been anti-Israeli.

The Creation of Desperation

The European economy and, more specifically, the German economy, the largest and most important, has been faltering for some time.

An article by John Schmid in the International Herald Tribune, on a report released by the McKinsey Company’s Global Institute, indicated that average productivity growth in Germany slowed significantly through the second half of the 1990s. Although some may believe this to be a weakness, more importantly, it indicates a prolonged condition of political unwillingness that will eventually have dramatic socio-political consequences.

In the same article, Juergen Kluge, head of McKinsey’s German operations said, “The political thinking in Germany—and this applies to two-thirds of the political class in all the parties—is that productivity gains automatically mean lost jobs.”

A December 2002 article in The Financial Times cited several large German companies as indicating that their country was facing its biggest crisis since World War II, and they questioned their current government’s willingness and/or ability to handle it. Such a political stagnation will eventually force a population, through a seemingly ever-increasing unemployment rate and other pressures, to reach a boiling point.

The creation of a desperate people typically creates a desperate environment. Desperate societies have been known to vote for and allow desperate governments!

The Beast Dominated by Rome

We know a vacuum exists. We have seen how recent and current events have created and are creating an environment ripe for the picking. Europe is on the verge of taking its next big step by instituting a powerful Constitution and President. The Roman Catholic Church is insisting on very specific involvement in this new United States of Europe.

History has proven that European “kings” typically ally with the church from Rome for their mutual benefit. Very recent history has exposed a viral hatred for, and an eagerness to bring down, the U.S., UK and Israel. The continuing economic decline in Europe, and specifically Germany, slowly increases the pressure on its people, and creates a certain sense of desperation, thereby creating a willingness to allow desperate measures.

Revelation 17 portrays a whore riding a seven-headed beast, the seventh head having ten horns. Very plainly, she, as the rider, will control and maneuver the beast to do her bidding—in fact, she will even require her subjects to worship the beast!

The ten horns are ten kings of central Europe who will receive power and give their allegiance to a great leader. This leader, represented by the beast and allied with the Roman church, along with those 10 kings who unite under him, will be the seventh and final restoration of the Holy Roman Empire, to appear with great speed and force. The world will be shocked by the ferociousness of what is now a rather docile EU!

This final Holy Roman Empire has already allied with Russia. Right now, the EU and Russia are drawing closer and closer, and cooperating more and more in regard to defense and security, trade and travel. This will provide Europe with strategic access to Russian oil supplies, as well as their military technology and production capabilities.

God has historically used Assyria to punish His nation of Israel. The modern-day descendents of Assyria are none other than the Germans! And so they, as the largest and strongest nation of this final Holy Roman Empire, will be used one last time to mete out punishment, in what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation, on the modern-day descendants of Israel—primarily the United States, United Kingdom and the remnants of its empire.

Finally, Europe will break off its alliance with Russia and attack her. Russia, then allied with the “great hordes” of men from the east (China, possibly along with Japan, India, etc.), will counter-attack and cause great destruction (Rev. 9:13-21).

In the end, at Christ’s Return, His power and strength—His government—will destroy and permanently replace (Dan. 2:34, 44-45) the two feet and ten toes of the final Holy Roman Empire.

But first, in fact at this very moment, a great dark cloud is forming over the world. A tremendous power is rising right now in Europe to dominate all nations, requiring observance of its way and worship of its image.

However, there is a way to escape.

A warning is now being given. Listen carefully. Read carefully. Act now. For there will come a time when this warning will no longer be able to be given—and then it will be too late… 

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