Europe's Final Dictator Just Ahead?
History shows that in times of great social and economic upheaval, the populace hungers for a strong leader they hope can solve seemingly unsolvable problems. Even in just the last 250 years, Europe has shown us this principle in action. When the French people had grown weary of the Bourbon monarchy's oppressive taxation, the door was open for the rise to power of an obscure Corsican artillery officer to seize absolute sovereignty over the nation. Crowning himself as Emperor Napoleon I, this upstart leader set out to restore the glory and prosperity of France. His overreaching ambition--to unite all of Europe under his rule--faltered with his 1812 invasion of Russia, which ended with a disastrous winter retreat from Moscow. Napoleon's final defeat came in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, bringing an end to the era of war and destruction he had inflicted on the peoples of Europe.
Scarcely more than a hundred years after Napoleon's demise, the nations of Europe once again lay exhausted in the wake of World War I. Millions of young Britons, Frenchmen, Russians and Germans had been killed or maimed in the great battles fought between 1914-18. Twentieth-century armaments met nineteenth century military tactics, resulting in the slaughter of troops sent in massed infantry formations to face machine guns and mustard gas.
After the war's end, Germany--undefeated on the battlefield--chafed under economically ruinous war reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. Angry with the Allied powers and suffering the effects of the worldwide Great Depression, the German people--angered by the inaction of their Weimar Republic--gave increasing support to Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party. In January 1933, Hitler took power in a Germany that came to see this fierce demagogue as the savior of the nation. Yet he, too, left continent-wide death and destruction in his deranged wake.
Today, Europe is again facing economic disruptions that are already leading to civil unrest in several E.U. member countries. Even while Europeans grow disenchanted with the once-lauded U.S. President Obama, they seek their own hope and change at home. As the E.U. faces its latest monetary crisis, will that continent seek yet another insane demagogue who will take the reins of power, promising to "save" its people from an unjust economic and societal catastrophe?
Prophecies in your Bible tell of yet another opportunistic politician, known in Scripture as the king of the North. Backed by a powerful religious leader (Revelation 13:11-18), he will rise to "deliver" Europe from the mounting perils it now faces. His arch-enemy will be a powerful and charismatic personality, known as the king of the South, who will be leading a Muslim confederation. Their ensuing conflict will drag all nations into a devastating third and final world war (Daniel 11; Matthew 24; Revelation 16:12-16).
Throughout history, men have sought strong leaders and different forms of government, hoping in vain that someone would bring lasting peace and prosperity. Each, in turn, has failed to permanently deliver on promises of a brighter future. Humanity is proving once again that it cannot rule itself, apart from God. Unless Jesus Christ returns to vanquish the prophesied coming European dictator, what will happen? Madmen in seats of power, with weapons of mass destruction at their disposal, will surely destroy us all! "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22).
To learn more about what is ahead, watch Tomorrow's World telecast, "America's Fall and Europe's Rise," or read our informative booklet, The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?.