Does the formation of the European Union fulfill Bible prophecy? Learn the answer with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on May 30, 2010.
Dr. Reagan: One of the most remarkable prophetic developments of the 20th Century was the resurrection of the Old Roman Empire in the form of the European Union. What motivated the nations of Europe to set aside all their age old hatreds in order to form this new super state? What are its spiritual implications? And specifically, how does it relate to end time Bible prophecy? Stay tuned.
Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope! And welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Twenty-five hundred years ago the Hebrew prophet Daniel prophesied about a succession of Gentile empires that would dominate the world scene. He prophesied that the Babylonian Empire that existed at the time he wrote would be overthrown by the Medo-Persian Empire and that it would, in turn, be replaced by the Greek Empire. He further prophesied that the Greek Empire would be succeeded by an empire of iron. This, of course, was a reference to the Roman Empire. He concluded his prophesy by stating that this iron empire would be revived in the end times as a sort of loose confederation of European states out of which the Antichrist would arise. The dream of reviving the Roman Empire is one that never died throughout all of recorded history. Many tried thru military conquest and failed. In modern times that included Napoleon and Hitler, but all military attempts failed because it was not God’s timing.
God’s timing arrived after World War II when, in 1950, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, endorsed an idea that had come from a French businessman named Jean Monnet. The idea was to form a European Transnational Organization for the production of coal and steel. Monet’s contention was that the only hope for Europe’s revival from the devastation of World War II was for the European nations to set aside their historic differences and hatreds and cooperate economically. The idea caught on, and in 1951 the European Coal & Steel Community was established, consisting of six nations. The 1957 Treaty of Rome expanded the scope of the community to include a customs union, and the name was changed to the European Economic Community. Over the next few years the European Economic Community, or the Common Market, as it came to be called, expanded to 11 nations by 1986. Before long the decision was made to begin a process of political confederation to coincide with and to strengthen the economic integration that had already occurred. The result was the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 which produced the European Union in 1993. At this point it could truly be said that the old Roman Empire was in the process of being resurrected from the dead.
Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We were in the midst of a survey of how Daniel’s ancient prophecy about the revival of the Roman Empire in the end times actually took place in the 20th Century. In 2004 an attempt was made to create a stronger political union thru the adoption of a Constitution. That attempt failed in 2005 when the French and Dutch voted down the Constitution in popular referendums. The decision was then made to implement the Constitution in a different way, thru the treaty process which would require only the approval of the national parliaments of the member nations. In other words, the decision was made to bypass the will of the people. Accordingly, the Constitution was incorporated into the Treaty of Lisbon of 2007. This treaty was approved in November of 2009 and went into effect on December 1st of 2009. Now there were 4 major purposes of the treaty: The first was to provide the organization with its own legal personality, second to make it more efficient in its decision making, third to make it more democratic in its operation, and fourth to increase its external coherence. All of these goals were achieved with the ratification of the treaty.
First, the organization was made more democratic by increasing the power of the 751 member Parliament as a co-decision maker with the previously all-powerful Council composed only of state-appointed representatives. Second, the organization was made more efficient by changing its voting from a requirement of unanimity to qualified majorities. Third, the organization was made more democratic by making it possible for citizens to propose initiatives based on one million signatures. And fourth, the treaty incorporated the European Charter of Rights, making it the law of all the member nations. And finally, and perhaps most important of all, the treaty provided for the creation of two new offices that would provide more external coherence in the relations of the Union to other nations. One of these was a Foreign Affairs Minister. The other was a President of the Union. And in my opinion, the creation of this office of President could well prove to be the most important of all the changes since it provides the Union for the first time with a chief executive officer. To the surprise of many, the Council immediately elected what the European press called two “nobodies” to serve in these important new roles. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman van Rompuy was selected as President, and Baroness Catherine Ashton of Great Britain, a Labor Party political hack, was selected to serve as Foreign Minister. The speculation was that the Council decided it did not want any high-profile leaders like say Tony Blair who might steal the light from the organization and who might use the opportunity to greatly expand the powers of the offices. President van Rompuy has such an undistinguished record that his own sister issued a political cartoon depicting him as a circus clown! But, my friends, the European Union itself is no laughing matter. It has quickly emerged as a new world super-power.
As I stated earlier, the European Union has grown rapidly in recent years. It is now composed of 27 member states, stretching from Scandinavia in the north to Greece in the south, and from Portugal on the west to Bulgaria and Romania on the east. Here are some comparisons with the United States: The population of our nation is 300 million. The population of the European Union is 500 million. Our gross domestic product is 14.4 trillion dollars. The European Union’s is 16.5 trillion. The European Union outstrips us in both exports and imports, and they have a much better trade balance than we do. Our share of world trade is 16%, theirs is 18%. Let’s take a moment now to review the institutions of the Union. The Union has developed all the institutions required for a super-power except one, and that is a European Army.
The headquarters of the Union is in Brussels, Belgium. This is where the Council meets. The European Commission is also in Brussels. This is the civil service wing of the European Union, made up of all the bureaus and agencies that implement the laws of the Union. The Parliament is located in Strasbourg, France. As you can see, its entrance is shaped to resemble the tower of Babel. It is composed of 751 elected representatives who are seated according to political philosophy and not by the nations they come from. The Union’s Court is located in Luxembourg, and has the power to overrule all the supreme courts of the member nations. The Central Bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany. And as I mentioned earlier, it has issued a central currency called the Euro. And now, since the Union has adopted a Constitution and has created the positions of Foreign Minister and President, the only thing lacking is a military force. And that is in the making. The goal is to get rid of NATO, which our nation dominates, and replace it with a European military force. The nucleus of such a force has already been established. A military staff has been assembled, with a commander-in-chief, and it currently has at its disposal 1,000 front line troops stationed in Strasbourg, France, with 60,000 troops pledged for rapid deployment. There can be no doubt about it folks the European Union is poised to become the world super-power of the end times, all in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
For hundreds of years Bible prophecy scholars have maintained that Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Daniel 2 points to a revival of the Roman Empire in the end times. I believe we are witnessing the fulfillment of that prophecy today in a miracle second only to the reestablishment of the nation of Israel. Because the European Union is determined to replace national identities with a common European identity, I expect that sometime soon the Union will be divided into ten administrative units, cutting across national boundaries, with a chief administrative officer for each unit.
In summary, I believe the stage has been set for the rise of the Antichrist from the ashes of the Old Roman Empire. In that regard, I think it is interesting that despite these marvelous prophetic developments, there are those today who are dismissing their significance because they are arguing that the Antichrist is going to rise instead from a reconstructed Ottoman Empire and that he will be a Muslim. They have even created a website called “The Beast from the East.” So, what about it? Have prophetic scholars been wrong for hundreds of years? Is the revival of the Roman Empire an accident of history or a true fulfillment of Bible prophecy? And will the Antichrist be a Muslim instead of a person of Roman descent?
There are differences of opinion among those who believe the Antichrist will be a Muslim, but let me share with you briefly some of the major points they do agree on. First, they argue that the iron legs of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision refer to the Ottoman Empire, not to the Roman Empire. Second, they argue that the feet of iron mixed with clay represent an end time revival of the Ottoman Empire, and not the Roman Empire. Next, they argue that Daniel 9:26 has historically been misinterpreted to refer to the Romans. This is the verse that says the Antichrist will come from the people who destroy the Temple. Since the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, prophetic scholars have always concluded that the Antichrist would arise out of a revival of the Roman Empire. But no, no the Muslim Antichrist advocates argue that the Roman troops were made up of people from the Middle East, and therefore Jerusalem was destroyed by Middle Eastern people and not by the Romans. Therefore, the Antichrist will come from the Middle East and not from Europe. Their fourth point is that the Antichrist will be the Muslim Mahdi or Messiah who will unite the Muslim world. They usually argue that this Muslim Antichrist will be of Assyrian descent since “the Assyrian” often appears in Scripture as a type of the Antichrist. And they argue that the kingdom of the Antichrist will be a regional one in the Middle East and not a worldwide kingdom. Finally, they argue that the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 & 39 will take place at the end of the Tribulation and will result in the defeat of the Muslim Antichrist. In other words, they argue that the battle of Gog and Magog is the same as the battle of Armageddon.
Now I would like to quickly respond to each of these ideas: To argue that the legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue represent the Ottoman Empire destroys the natural flow of the succession of empires in history. The head of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue represented the Babylonian Empire. The chest represented the Medo-Persian Empire that overthrew Babylon. The thighs represented the Greek Empire of Alexander that conquered the Medes and the Persians. The Roman Empire is the one that followed the Greek Empire of Alexander, not the Ottoman Empire which came a thousand years later. Furthermore, there is symbolism in the two legs since the Roman Empire divided into Eastern and Western spheres. This symbolism has no relevance at all to the Ottoman Empire. And to argue that the feet of iron mixed with clay points to a revival of the Ottoman Empire depreciates the significance of the miraculous revival of the Roman Empire that is currently taking place in fulfillment of a prophetic interpretation has been a cornerstone of end time prophecy for hundreds of years.
You know it reminds me of the warning of the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:20 where he says, “to beware of private, personal interpretations of prophecy.” Regarding Daniel 9:26, no one could serve in the Roman Army except Roman citizens. It makes no matter what their ethnicity may have been. They were Roman soldiers under the command of Roman generals who were operating under orders from the Roman Senate. The troops could have been African pygmies or Australian aborigines, but it was still Rome that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. And with regard to the Muslim Mahdi being the Antichrist, the concept of a Mahdi is primarily characteristic of Shiite eschatology. The concept is not even found in Sunni versions of the Hadith. The Sunnis are not looking for a Mahdi. They are looking instead for the appearance of the Antichrist whom they call the Dajjal. Keep in mind also that the Shiites constitute only 10% of the Muslim world. When you consider the extreme animosity that exists between Shiites and Sunnis, it is hard to even imagine a Shiite leader who could unite the Muslim world.
And regarding the Assyrian descent of the Antichrist, there are many other symbols of the Antichrist that are presented in the Bible, the Assyrian being only one of them. Other symbolic types of the Antichrist include the Pharaoh of Egypt, the King of Babylon, the King of Tyre, King Saul, Absalom, and King Herod. But the archetype of the Antichrist is Antiochus Epiphanes in the book of Daniel, and Antiochus was of Greek heritage.
The concept that the kingdom of the Antichrist will be a regional one in the Middle East is, to me, a bizarre idea, akin to arguing that the worldwide deluge of Noah’s time was really only a regional flood. Revelation 13:7 says the Antichrist will be given authority over, “every tribe and people and tongue and nation.” The Muslim Antichrist advocates argue that this verse is hyperbole and really doesn’t mean what it says. My response is to ask, “What else would God have to say to convince us that He is talking about the whole world?”
And with regard to the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39, it does not fit the description of the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation. The Tribulation does end with an invasion of the Middle East led by the Antichrist, but his armies sweep thru the Middle East to Egypt and then return to the Valley of Armageddon where they meet their fate. And that fate is a supernatural destruction by Jesus when He returns to the Mount of Olives. Jesus simply speaks, and they are destroyed instantly. Their tongues and eyes melt in their mouths, and their skin falls from their bodies. In the Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39, there is no mention of the Antichrist. The war consists of an invasion of Israel, and Israel only, and the invading armies are destroyed by earthquakes, and hailstones, and brimstone, and pestilence, and confusion. And they are destroyed on the mountains of Israel, and not in its valleys.
Let me conclude this review of the Muslim Antichrist arguments with two final observations: First, I think it is inconceivable that a Muslim Antichrist dominating the Middle East would sign a peace treaty with Israel, as Daniel 9 prophesies, instead of proceeding to annihilate the nation. Second, I cannot conceive of any Muslim leader declaring himself to be God, as the Bible say the Antichrist will do.
Let’s return to the European Union for a moment to consider another important development. For many years, ever since 1999, Turkey has been a candidate member awaiting ratification. But the European Union has found one technical excuse after another for not admitting them. The real reason for this hesitancy has been the fact that, if admitted, the 72 million citizens of Turkey would have the freedom to move to any of the European Union members states and seek employment. In short, the Europeans have justifiably feared a Muslim invasion of Europe if Turkey were to be admitted. In the year 2003 a devout Muslim came to power in Turkey by the name of Recep Tayyip Edrogan. After his ascension to power, it became evident very quickly that his goal was to replace the secular government of Turkey with an Islamic one. In October of 2009 he suddenly canceled a joint military exercises with Israel that had been conducted annually, and then he rushed to sign a treaty with Syria to strengthen their military ties. He has also embraced the President of Iran as a “friend of Turkey.” Considering these developments in light of the fact that Russia and Iran have recently warmed up to each other, we can see that the coalition of nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 & 39 the coalition that will invade Israel is rapidly coming together. Russia is pictured as the leader of that coalition, and Turkey is listed as one of the key members of the coalition.
I’d like to make one final point regarding the Gog & Magog invasion described in Ezekiel 38 & 39 the invasion of Israel by Russia and certain specified Muslim allies. Many prophetic scholars believe this will be the next prophetic event in the Middle East. But I don’t think so, because this invasion requires a condition that does not yet exist in the Middle East; namely, peace and security for Israel. Three times in Ezekiel 38 it says the invasion will occur at a time when Israel is at peace, “living securely, without walls.” Well, folks Israel today is not secure, and it is building a 300 mile long wall right down the middle of the country to protect itself from terrorists.
I must also point out that there is another strange thing about the Ezekiel 38 & 39 invasion. Among the specified allies of Russia there is no mention of a single country in the Middle East that has a common boundary with Israel! The inner ring of Muslim states is not mentioned. These are the nations with a boundary adjacent to Israel. They include Lebanon, and Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Gaza. The invasion is by an outer ring of Muslim nations that have no common border with Israel nations like: Turkey, and Iran, Iraq, the Sudan, Libya, and possibly Algeria and Tunisia.
I have always personally felt that there will be a war between Israel and the Arab states immediately adjacent to it, a war that would result in an overwhelming Israeli victory in accordance with Zechariah 12:6 which says: “In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem.” I believe it is this war between Israel and its adjoining Arab nations that could result in the destruction of Damascus a destruction that is prophesied in Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49. I have always believed this war would bring peace to Israel. But I have also believed it would motivate the Muslim world to turn to their natural ally, Russia, and call for help resulting in the invasion of Ezekiel 38 & 39.
In 2008 a man by the name of Bill Salus produced a book called, Isralestine in which he presented the same thesis, arguing that Psalm 83 is a description of a war between Israel and its adjoining Arab neighbors that will result in a great Israeli victory and peace for Israel. So, in other words, he sees the war described in Psalm 83 as one between Israel and its inner circle of enemies, and one that will occur before the Ezekiel 38 & 39 war between Israel and its outer circle of enemies.
Let me make one final point, considering all the end time events we have just discussed; What about the timing of the Rapture? When is it most likely to occur? Well in my opinion, the answer is simple: It will happen whenever the Lord wants it to happen! It can occur any moment before the Psalm 83 War, during it, after it, before or during the Ezekiel 38 & 39 invasion of Israel. There is not one prophetic event that has to be fulfilled before the Rapture can occur. But, there are prophetic events yet prophesied that could occur before the Rapture, just as the prophesied re-establishment of Israel has occurred before the Rapture, even though there was no requirement that it happen before the Rapture. In like manner, the prophesied re-establishment of the Roman Empire has occurred before the Rapture, although there was no requirement that it precede the Rapture. Those two events; the re-establishment of Israel and the rebirth of the Roman Empire were the two most important prophetic events of the 20th Century, and both point to the fact that we are living in the end times, that we are living on borrowed time, and that we are living in the season of the Rapture.
As we bring this program to a close, I want to praise God for the fact that we recently aired our 400th program since we began telecasting Christ in Prophecy back in September of 2002. For twenty-one years before that time, I had a daily radio program also called Christ in Prophecy that was broadcast on about 80 stations across the country, and we developed many wonderful friends through that program.
In the late 1990’s staff members and trustees began to tell me that they felt the leading of the Lord for us to switch from radio to television. I want to tell you I resisted that counsel for several years for several reasons. For one thing, I knew that television is much more expensive than radio, and I did not want to end up spending time on programs asking for money. But even more important, I was reluctant to make the switch because of a fundamental difference that exists between radio and television, a difference that does not occur to most people. What I have in mind is this: with radio, the focus is on the message; but with television the focus usually switches to the messenger, resulting in over-blown egos and all the problems associated with that kind of nonsense.
I was also reluctant to leave radio because I didn’t want to part with all the wonderful friends we had made around the country who might not be able to get our television broadcast. You see, we couldn’t afford to do both radio and TV, so switching to television meant giving up radio. After we made the switch, we received many letters and calls expressing disappointment. One I will never forget was a letter from a very upset fellow who said that he was grieving over the loss of our radio program. As he put it, “I feel like my dog just died.” Well, I decided to take that as a compliment! So, I had to be literally dragged screaming and kicking from radio to television. But once I relented, and we started broadcasting on TV, I never regretted the decision. For one thing, the Lord has richly blessed the decision by always supplying us with the necessary funds, without our having to beg for them on our broadcast. And second, the Lord has magnified our outreach exponentially. He has opened the door for us to broadcast this program on four great national networks that have access to over 70 million homes in the United States. And through several satellites, we have access to every nation in the world, including Israel.
Now I would like to conclude this celebration of our 400th broadcast by asking all those behind the cameras and in our control room to step out here for a moment and join me. Ah, here they come. Great guys! Well folks we want to thank all of you for viewing this program. We want to thank you for your donations. We want to thank you for the words of support that you send to us constantly, you can’t imagine how much they mean to us. That is our program for this week, until next week the Lord willing this is Dave Reagan and all of the video crew saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near!”
End of Program