One of the most asked prophecy questions in America by far is whether the
U.S.A. is mentioned in the Bible. Given America’s influential role in the
world in these last days, surely it must merit specific mention … or so,
most people reason. There is a wide range of opinion on this question, not
to mention virtual terabytes of speculative comment and Scriptural
misinterpretations. The debate continues even among learned and respected
prophecy scholars. However, of late, the prophetic significance of another
Gentile nation is being increasingly queried … namely, Germany. Given the
epic financial tremors in Europe, the instabilities in its Eurozone
membership, and Germany’s rise in financial and economic power, just what
prophecies might validate this country’s current role? As might be guessed,
this topic also attracts a range of opinion. In fact, it might be more
correct to say that an increasing number of people are now being led to
accept versions of British-Israelism on this view (a term we will explain
Today, there are not a small number of groups that propound these views,
causing somewhat of a groundswell among Christians; drawing them into
accepting their sometimes fantastical interpretations. While their teachings
may not yet have mainstream acceptance, their outreach is quite prolific.
As in the case of America, we see no specific mention in the Bible of
Germany (the emphasis here being upon the words “specific mention”).Without
a doubt, Bible prophecy encompasses the actions (collective and individual)
of all Gentile nations, among which Germany and America are likely included.
Focus upon the Middle East Theatre
Is Germany mentioned in Bible prophecy? To begin, we must remember that the
Bible remains an Israel-centric document.As such, its prophecies deal with
the generalities of the world’s geopoliticalhistory, but only so in relation
to Israel and Jesus Christ. Yes, there are indeed specific nations mentioned
in end-time prophecies. However, these are all in the Middle East theatre.
To provide aperspective on this issue, we here reproduce an excerpt from an
earlier article series in this space (Midnight
Call magazine August and September 2008,“Iconic Last Days: False
Imagesand Picture-Perfect Prophecy”).
“[…] Consider the surveillance camera. Normally, these devices point at a
fixed view; others move in a regular or random arc. Yet, they remain
attached to one mounting spot. So it is with the Bible’s perspective of
prophecy and historical events. It takes the view of a camera that is
installed as if overtop Israel and Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament, this camera was expressly focused upon the live action
in this general Middle Eastern area, swinging its angle of view as far east
as Susa in Elam, north to Assyria and Babylon, and southwest to Egypt.
The world’s major successive powers of those times, such as the Assyrians
and the Romans, are only caught on this surveillance camera as they trample
across Israel and Judah. They are bit actors, not even deserving their own
camera installation.Later, in the New Testament, the arc of the camera
widens somewhat, but not much, roving as far as Rome and more northern parts
of Asia Minor.
In our time today, this prophecy camera would still not have captured long
glimpses of America on its footage. At best, this nation would only make few
and fleeting cameo appearances in the Middle East—minor interventions over
the past century, and more recently, the incursion into Iraq.
Yet today, the video camera of Bible prophecy still remains fixed to its
pedestal above Israel, limiting its arc of view to the general surrounding
area. It has not moved from its spot. This perspective is often overlooked
by Bible readers, given that the majority of the world’s Christians (also
the greater world populations and economies) lie outside the line of this
camera’s view. Given this dominance, we might therefore think that most of
the important action in the world is in America, in China, Europe or perhaps
other wealthy or populous countries.But where do we see these countries in
our prophetic videotape?The Bible at best only gives mention to these
countries as either ‘islands of the seas,’ the ‘kings of the east,’ or
perhaps Gog from the far north (Ezekiel 38), without even turning its camera
in their direction. Imagine this insult to the developed, high-income
countries supposedly running the world order of today.They hardly even merit
mention in the final credits of Bible prophecy.”
Signs of Germany’s Rise
Lately, offshoots of the British Israelite persuasion, have been proudly
proclaiming that they “told you so” in respect of recent gyrations in
If you missed their admonitions, just what have they been saying?
They see recent financial and economic tremors in Europe, as the final
staging to the emergence of the power structure prophesied for the endtimes,
this being the Holy Roman Empire in which Germany plays a ruling role.The
economic rise of Germany in recent years, along with the advent of financial
meltdowns in some of the periphery European countries, is proof-positive to
them that their Bible interpretations are correct. They see Germany using
its economic power to consolidate its leadership position, then to rule a
new European coalition of countries. To this point, likely few prophecy
scholars will disagree with these observations. The British Israelite
groups, however, come to these opinions by a completely different set of
Just what is British-Israelism? In answering, we must acknowledge that there
are a wide number of groups that will fall under this broad umbrella (each
with some significant theological distinctions). Other names for offshoots
from British Israelism include Celtic Israelism and Anglo Israelism. A later
term often used is Armstrongism, named after the 20th century
teachings of Herbert Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God. However, the
common foundation that distinguishes them from orthodox Christianity, is
that they consider many of the Old Testament prophecies that are addressed
separately to the House of Judah and the House of Israel (the ancient
Northern Kingdom) as applying to the last days.
In their view, the House of Judah (comprised of the tribes of Benjamin and
Judah) are the Jews of today, whereas the House of Israel is represented by
the lost 10 ten tribes of Israel, who in present timesare “discovered” to
exist incognito in the form ofmostly northern European peoples. The 10
tribes of Israel (those that were deported and dispersed abroad by the
Assyrians in the 7th century B.C.) lost their identity and were eventually
also lost to antiquity. These “lost” Israelites then emigrated to other
parts of the Middle East, the Caucasus, to Northern Europe and, importantly,
England and Ireland. British Israelite groups generally view Britain as
modern-day Ephraim and America as the tribe of Manasseh.
Some groups go a step further, and identify the Germany of today as Assyria.
Just as the lost 10 tribes supposedly ended up in Europe and America, so did
the ancient Assyrians once they were vanquished by the Babylonians. Is all
British Israelism: Is It Harmful?
The objective of this article is not to provide an all-points refutation of
British-Israelism and its offshoots, but rather to show that the
interpretations with respect to modern-dayGermany among its more prominent
factions are incorrect.In our view, the 10 northern tribes were never lost.
Clearly, 12 tribes of Israel are shown to exist in the Book of Revelation
(Chapter 7, 12 and 21), these references applying to the future. The debate
centers on whether all the Israelite tribes are represented by the Jews of
today. The New Testament, which documents a time over 700 years after the
Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed,specifically mentions
the House of Israel tribe of Asher as
being the ancestor of Anna the prophetess
(Luke 2:36). After the breakup of the northern tribes from the southern
tribes of Judah and Benjamin, at least some of the northern
Hebrews, who remained faithful to the teachings of the Law, fled to the
Therefore, the Israel of today is considered to be a blend of the House of
Judah and the House of Israel. As such, the prophecy found in Ezekiel
37:19-22—the two houses of Israel and Judah being made into one stick—has
already been fulfilled rather than will yet occur in the future. British
Israelism was popularized as a Christian interpretation early in the 19th
century. It no doubt wasinfluenced by the much earlier academic interests in
Irish Orientalism and Phoenicianism.A large number of secular treatises on
these influences were written as much as a century earlier.
While we are not convinced to adopt the foundational viewpoints of British
Israelism,at the same time we also do not see them as being heretical. These
views alone do not affect the gospel or essential doctrine. That said, a
ragtag set of beliefs with respect to last-day prophecies, Sabbath-keeping,
Judaical ordinances … etc. can be found among them. Of course, the same
could be said about the rest of Christianity.
Where Is Germany?
One of the more prolific churches today teaching British Israelism (more
specifically, Armstrongism) is the Philadelphia Church of God (PCOG). As
such, we will here focus on their statements in regard to Europe, Germany,
the Holy Roman Empire and end-time prophecy.
According to them, just as the 10 northern tribes of the House of Israel
supposedly migrated to America and became the founders of the European
nations of Britain, France and others, so apparently also did the Assyrians.
The Armstrongites claim that they migrated to the environs of modern-day
Germany (specifically, former Prussia). As Assyrians were a war-loving,
cruel people, the PCOG is sure that Germany will be the country that will
rule brutally over a new Europe, this taking the form of a group of 10
Recent events in Europe, of course, only add fuel to the PCOG’s conviction
(and boasting, we may add). Indeed, Germany, which has the largest economy
of all the 17 Eurozone countries, is in a position of large influence. To
the PCOG, this is all a prelude to a Fourth Reich (a revived Holy Roman
Empire), a state of organization where Germany will rule over Europe. An
evil strong man (Antichrist) will come from this empire, as he is said to be
an Assyrian (Isaiah 10:5, Micah 5:5). Moreover, the PCOG interprets various
Old Testament prophecies as revealing that Germany will in fact punish all
the 10 tribe descendents, also oppressing and dominating America. Really?
These views are not altogether in agreement with Bible prophecy.
We observe faulty and confused interpretations on a number of levels.
To begin, Bible prophecy expressly reveals that the rule of the 10 kings (a
power coalition of 10 nations) emerges before the Antichrist is revealed. In
other words, 10 kings come first, then the 11thwho is revealed as
the Antichrist enters the scene. Shown as a king (the Old Testament’s
parallel to today’s rulers), he must therefore represent a country. Thus, if
Germany is today to be one of the 10 kings that are to arise as a revived
Roman Empire, then their leader cannot then emerge to be the Antichrist. He
must be the leader of yet another country and not of the 10. How so?
Daniel expressly says, “there before me was another horn, a little one,
which came up among” the first 10 horns (Daniel 7:8). (A horn is used in the
Old Testament to symbolize the sovereign power of kings.) Clearly, it is an
11th and different king (likely representing a smaller nation)
who arises while the previous 10 remain in existence. At a later time, he
does indeed subjugate three of them (Daniel 7:8). Germany clearly does not
fit this story line. Germany already exists … and it is not small. We can
cite more verses that demolish the Philadelphian (PCOG)fixation
with Germany, their view ona
Holy Roman Empire, and interpretation ofthe Bible’s statements on historical
and end-time geopolitics.
Overall, the PCOG framework with respect to both the historical and last day
sequence of rulers as laid out in the Bible, is also flawed. For example,
they take an incorrect interpretation of the seven heads shown on the beast
of Revelation 17. As we have outlined in the past, the 7 heads (who are also
7 kings) represent the historical lineage of the major Gentile powers that
have ruled and suppressed the Hebrews. On the other hand, the group of 10
kings,which are also mentioned in Revelation 17 (and symbolized four other
occasionsin Scripture), exist at the same time. Whereas the kings
(rulerships) that are represented by the 7 heads are consecutive (not in
dominance at the same time), the 10 kings represented by the horns exist
Revelation 17:10 says that the 7 heads “are also seven kings. Five have
fallen, one is, the other has not yet come.” Just who are these kingdoms?
Quoting the November/December issue of the
Trumpet, the PCOG assigns the
identity of the “five fallen” as follows: Justinian (A.D. 554); Charlemagne
(A.D. 800); Otto the Great (A.D. 962); Charles V; and Napoleon who crowned
himself emperor in 1804. Such interpretations are highly imaginative and
subjective … not to mention scripturally unsound.
John the Revelator wrote down the visions given to him late in the first
century. Just how could the five kingdoms that had already fallen, all yet
come to power in later centuries, as the PCOG claims? Moreover, just how is
it possible to name Hitler as the sixth head (which the PCOG does)? John the
Revelator told us that the “sixth” kingdom (the Roman rulership) already
existed at the time that he was writing his prophecies. And, just how is it
that the PCOG determines that the 1930s to 1940s period qualifies as the
time that “is”? If so, there must have been a second coming of John this
past century which all of Christianity missed.
The Bible very clearly reveals that the sixth and seventh heads, as well as
the 8th king (6th through 8th kings/kingdoms mentioned
in Revelation 17) are all of Roman origin. While it is possible that this 8th
king could be some type of Assyrian entity, he comes out of the Roman
rulership. The previous 5 kingdoms pictured in Revelation 17 (the five that
are fallen) are not Roman.
According to our deductions, the prior five “kings that are fallen”
(Revelation 17:10) are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. (We
plan to provide our arguments for this interpretation at a future time.) As
for the sixth head, there can be no doubt about its Roman identity.
Scripture then proves that the coming 7th head (the one with 10
horns, which signifies a ruling power, in this case the collective of 10
contemporaneous kings) and 8th king who emerges later as the
Antichrist, are also of Roman heritage.
Here we must go to Daniel 7:24, which substantiates this view. The book of
Revelation, after all, fits hand in glove with the prophecies in the Book of
“The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them
another king will arise, different from the earlier ones.”The kingdom that
Daniel is referring to here is the fourth kingdom that he sees in his
visions—namely, the terrible beast—that follows the previous ram that
represented Greece(see Daniel 7:7).Therefore, indeed the 10-king global
power coalition will emerge from the Roman peoples. If this is so, we
present this conclusion: the 10 kings cannot include Germany if it really is
the modern-day Assyria, as the PCOG claims. According to Daniel 9:26, the 10
kings must be of Roman origin, not Assyrian.
Crucially, consider this important point: Revelation 17:12 says that the 10
kings had “not yet received a kingdom” at the time of John the Revelator.
This verse then disqualifies Assyria as being one of the 10 nations (and,
for that matter, also modern-day Iran and Egypt). Why? They had already
received a kingdom in past history. They are therefore disqualified as
members of the final 10 kings.
Points to Ponder
We conclude as follows: indeed we believe that events today in Europe will
ultimately play a factor in the emergence of the last-day, 10-king power
coalition. We are not at all convinced that this will take the form of a
Holy Roman Empire, one that is in complicity with the Roman Catholic Church.
Revelation 17 shows the “prostitute” on the back of the beast that
represents all 7 historic kingdoms, from Egyptian to Roman. The Roman
Catholic Church hasn’t been around that long.
To be sure, European financial instabilities today very likely will play a
role in the emergence of the next world order. However, there is no way of
anticipating the various convolutions that may unfold in the interim. One
should not forget that we live in a globalized world where international
financial markets, politics and economies are tightly intertwined. There is
no telling just what event might prove to be a catalyst for further
instabilities. Geopolitical events do not occur in a vacuum.
As we have shown, British Israelite perspectives on Germany’s specific role
in end-time prophecy are not Scriptural. Furthermore, if it is not possible
to identify Germany as modern-day Assyria from Scripture, then one must
question of what value such a perspectivewould have for Christians. Isn’t
the Bible the full record of what the Holy Spirit considered essential to
reveal to Christians? The same Assyrians that persecuted the Hebrews
(destroying the Northern Kingdom and persecuting Judah) in the Old
Testament, have decamped and followed the 10 lost
tribes to Europe, there to persecute and oppress the descendents of the 10
Northern tribes once again? That would mean that the 2nd head
shown on the beast in Revelation 17 must be revived and come back to global
dominance. This does not agree with the sequence that is shown in Scripture.
Finally, the Bible does not allow us to make any specific predictions as to
what countries will be involved or the timing and exact sequence of last-day
events related to the emergence of the 10 kings, and nations outside the
Middle Eastern theatre that are not specifically named. That said, careful
study of Bible prophecy does allow us to uncover incorrect interpretations,
speculations and false prophecies. As such, one should always examine the
Scriptures for oneself to test all views, whether from the Philadelphia
Church of God Trumpet, or
Midnight Call or any other
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About the Author:
Wilfred J. Hahn
is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst,
research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of
Canada country’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on
the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted
around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications
and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free
accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial
Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied:
Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further
into the future.