The United States is waning as a global power, and the world is looking for new leadership. Europe is moving closer to unification. The long papacy of John Paul II may be very near its end. What will come next in Europe—and what does Bible prophecy say will result?
Behind the scenes, a powerful force is beginning to shape the destiny of Europe—and of the world. It will enormously affect our lives in ways most cannot now imagine!
The withered figure of an aged and very sick pope appears from time to time on television screens or in our newspapers. Karol Wojtyla, now 83 and suffering from Parkinson's disease, appears to be reaching the end of his days. The most traveled pope in history, he projects the image of a sincere and kindly elderly man trying to help the world understand the ways of God.
Yet, a few minutes later, we may see television images of high-ranking Roman Catholic bishops or priests accused of grievous crimes and sins. Their recent history of sexually assaulting hundreds of young men only echoes this type of priestly behavior occurring over the centuries. Even Catholic historians admit that many of their popes and bishops had mistresses, fathered illegitimate children, sometimes "sold" the office of bishop for money and committed many other excesses that might make a sincere Christian blush.
But the Roman Catholic Church is an organization of tremendous power and prestige all over the world. With more than one billion adherents, it controls Vatican City—a separate nation within the nation of Italy. So even though it is a church, this mammoth organization is allowed to have credentialed ambassadors to the nations of the world just as if it were a normal sovereign nation as well as a church. Through the centuries, it has had tremendous influence upon the nations of Europe, and of Central and South America. In Europe, dozens of heads of state literally received their crowns from the pope—symbolizing their subjection to him and to the church he represented. Many national upheavals and many wars were instigated by the Vatican—an earthly power that has had no qualms about interfering or meddling in worldly politics.
Right now—before our eyes—a final revival of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire" is taking place in Europe. Yet most people do not recognize what is happening. Most either fail to see, or refuse to admit, the dramatic impact this revival will have on their lives, and on the lives of their children and loved ones.
In Britain, the prestigious London Daily Telegraph for July 21, 1991 stated: "'Karol Wojtyla is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right—that of new Holy Roman Emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.'" The "founding fathers" of the European Union are being put forward for sainthood by faithful European Catholics; Alcide De Gasperi and Robert Schuman are well on their way toward receiving this ultimate stamp of approval from the Roman Catholic Church. As one supporter of their canonization put it, "I think that the European Union is a design not only of human beings but of God." The very act of bestowing sainthoods on politicians is a way for supporters to suggest that European unification is God's will, and that those who lead it govern by "divine right."
As noted author Adrian Hilton recently stated: "The issue of European religious union is one that has been concealed even deeper than the plans for political union, but the ratchet towards a Catholic Europe is just as real. The pope's recent demand that 'God' be featured in the emerging European constitution has been echoed by many leading Catholic politicians and bishops. While on the surface such a reference may offend only Europe's atheist and humanist contingent, it must be observed that when the Vatican refers to God, she sees herself as God's infallible vice-regent upon earth, the leading organ of divine expression; indeed, according to its publication Dominus Iesus (5 September 2000), as the only mediator in the salvation of God's elect, insisting that all other Churches, including the Church of England, 'are not Churches in the proper sense.' The Roman Church is founded on a political dogma claiming that the pope is 'supreme ruler of the world'; superior to all kings, prime ministers and presidents. These spiritual and temporal claims remain very much fundamental dogmas of Catholic teaching, permitting the pope, through Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to issue clear directives to Catholic politicians on how they should vote. Since their obedience is considered a 'moral duty', devolve everything to the overwhelmingly Catholic European Council of Ministers, Commission and Parliament, and the ultimate Caesar is the pope" (The Spectator, August 30, 2003).
The great God who guides the rise and fall of nations has warned us about what is about to happen—and, in fact, what is beginning to happen even as I write. For the Creator inspired the Apostle John to warn us about the very church/state system that is now being put together—slowly but surely—on the European continent. The time setting of this prophecy is clearly the end of this present age—when deceived men will literally make war with Jesus Christ at His Second Coming! The inspired Apostle writes: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.' So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns" (Revelation 17:1–3). Note that this "woman" is "sitting" on the Beast that is here described. Though she has less physical strength, the "woman" is obviously in control!
Who is this mysterious woman? The account tells us that she sits on "many waters" (v. 1). John reveals in verse 15: "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues."
So this "woman" has great power and influence over countless millions of people in different nations speaking different languages. Again, she is pictured as "sitting on" or controlling a "Beast" that has "seven heads and ten horns" (v. 3).
The term "woman" is used throughout the New Testament as a symbol for a church. In Revelation 12:12–14, God's true Church is pictured as fleeing "into the wilderness"—a place here on earth—to escape the persecution and the wrath of Satan. In 2 Corinthians 11:1–2, the true Church is pictured as a woman—the affianced bride of Christ. In Ephesians 5:22–33, the Apostle Paul clearly describes the Church as the wife (obviously a woman!) of Jesus Christ.
The "woman" of Revelation 17 is also a "harlot." She has "made drunk" the inhabitants of the earth with her false doctrines and Babylonish practices. Her name—as God sees it—is, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth" (v. 5). So she is a "mother" church, and she has been—and will be—a great persecuting church "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (v. 6).
This fallen woman of Revelation 17 sits on a "Beast." As you compare this prophecy of Revelation 17 with Revelation 13 and Daniel 7, it becomes obvious that this "Beast" is the revived Roman Empire. For full and historical proof of this, be sure to write or call for a copy of our fascinating and eye-opening booklet, The Beast of Revelation. It will be sent absolutely free upon your request.
This revived European empire—the Beast—will be headed by a super-dictator or emperor also called the "Beast." In Daniel and other biblical prophecies, the terms "king" and "kingdom" are often used interchangeably, for in ancient times, there were virtually no democracies as we understand them today. The king's will was the will of the kingdom—which the king personified.
In its seventh and final revival, the Roman Empire will consist of ten kings or rulers. "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast" (Revelation 17:12–13).
But why would carnal, ambitious political leaders voluntarily come together and give their authority to one super-king, or emperor? Is it because they will have been powerfully influenced to do so by the "woman"—the great fallen church who sits on "peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues?"
In Revelation 13, John describes the "Beast" who had a "deadly wound" as the ancient Roman Empire. This empire fell in 476ad, but was "healed" when it was revived in 554ad by the Emperor Justinian. Then, history tells us, it became the "Holy" Roman Empire. Why "holy"? Because from that time on, it was heavily influenced—and sometimes ruled—through the papacy, by the dominant church of the Middle Ages.
In Revelation 13:11–14, John describes "another" Beast. This Beast "had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon" (v. 11). Throughout the entire New Testament, Jesus Christ is pictured as the "Lamb" of God (John 1:29; Revelation 19:7). Satan is pictured as a dragon: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).
Therefore, this second "Beast" of Revelation 13 is a man who appears to be like Christ—coming with a great show of piety, holiness and goodwill. But his message—when he speaks "like a dragon"—will be a cunning and cleverly deceiving message from Satan the Devil!
He is the one who will influence the ten kings or rulers in the soon to rise European empire to give up their power for a short time. For this second "Beast"—this false prophet—"performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived" (Revelation 13:13–14).
Pope John Paul II is very old, and very ill. His life may end at any time. His health is so frail that he may even have died by the time you read this article. Will his successor be the final pope? Not necessarily. We need to recall the extremely brief pontificate of his predecessor, John Paul I, who according to some accounts may even have been poisoned in an unusual Vatican plot involving a power struggle at the highest level (one account of this is given by noted British author David Yallop, in his thoroughly documented book In God's Name).
John Paul I reigned for just 33 days! So the next pope might also be in office for a very short time. That is why Jesus, speaking about prophetic events, tells us to "watch and pray" (Luke 21:36). We are not given the exact times and places of all coming prophetic events. But the major events—and the overall patterns—are clear. We are in for some extremely interesting and even astonishing events over the next five to 15 years or so—events that no one could foresee except through the clear light of biblical prophecy!
In any event, the final great false prophet will be able to deceive untold millions of human beings "by those signs he was granted to do in the sight of the Beast" (v. 14).
The Apostle Paul was also inspired to tell us about this soon-to-come false prophet. Note Paul's extremely somber warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4: "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Who is this man who has the incredible arrogance to appropriate, for himself, titles and glory that belong only to God?
Paul describes the religious system that produces this man as the "mystery of lawlessness" (v. 7)—a religion that has changed God's laws, done away with His Sabbaths and substituted pomp, ceremony and pagan rituals for heartfelt obedience to the word of God! This coming "lawless one" will be empowered "according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (vv. 9–10).
It is vital that each of you dear readers grasp the importance of that last phrase: "the love of the truth." For that is the ultimate "key" to the future well-being of each of you and your loved ones! For when this magnetic personality arises in Europe, and uses the awesome power of the "woman" of Revelation 17 to dominate and guide the Beast, it will be easy to acquiesce and wish to "just get along." It will be easy for you—and for many top religious and political leaders—to submit yourselves to the leadership of this coming false prophet and the Beast he so heavily influences. The vast numbers of people involved, the power and the pageantry will all have a dramatic affect upon billions of human beings! After all, since this man will be able to perform great signs and "lying wonders," most will assume that he is God's special representative on earth.
Let me now give you a vital clue: the kind of miracles and signs this false prophet works will not be the same as those preformed by Jesus and the original Apostles. They healed primarily through quiet, sincere prayers and often with the anointing of oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Mark 6:12–13; James 5:14). Their miracles involved genuine supernatural healings performed in the name of Jesus Christ—never strange apparitions, shining crosses, "bleeding" images supposedly representing Christ or Mary, etc. As the last remaining original Apostle wrote: "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
Jesus' true ministers will be humble, clean-living men who faithfully teach the word of God—not pagan doctrines and lavish rituals brought into professing Christianity during the Dark Ages. Jesus' own ministers will be faithful followers of the humble carpenter of Nazareth—who constantly referred people to Scripture and who taught people a way of life based upon heartfelt obedience to the Ten Commandments (Matthew 19:16–19).
Think! As God commands: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21; KJV). If each of us, individually, truly studies God's Word and asks for understanding, we will not be deceived. Speaking of the very end of the last days, Jesus said: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand" (Mark 13:22–23). So we must be close to the true God of the Bible, or we will be deceived by these false ministers!
This new "Caesar" in Europe—encouraged and mightily influenced by the false prophet and his miracles—will have enormous power. Your Bible says very clearly: "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). It is hard for most of us to imagine such a time!
Many of us who are older remember living through, and seeing on film, the fiery speeches of Adolph Hitler before hundreds of thousands at the Nuremburg rallies and elsewhere. We recall the force, the impact and the mass hysteria generated by that madman. How much more impact will the final "führer" have on a confused world—especially when he is backed and validated by a professing man of God who works fantastic miracles?
God calls His true people to come out, and to stay out, of the entire system that He calls "Babylon the Great." Looking into the future, God tells us: "'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. And I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'" (Revelation 18:2–4).
This revived Roman Empire will indeed become "rich" for a short while (v. 3). It will be very tempting to join in, for the short-term "gains" will be alluring. But what will happen in the long-term? "She will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her" (v. 8).
And what will be the "end" of this coming Caesar, and this false prophet who supports him? Jesus tells us through His servant John: "And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:19–20).
Not a very glorious future for these two cunning individuals who will have sold themselves to the devil!
But where will you be? How will you react as these prophesied events unfold?
Will you have the understanding and the courage to put your trust in the invisible God and do what He says? Will you have the true Jesus Christ living His obedient life within you through the Holy Spirit?
May God help you to read this magazine carefully and to understand. May He inspire you to truly study the Bible, and to ask His help in living by every word of God (Luke 4:4). And may He grant you the courage you will surely need in the traumatic years just ahead.