Europe and the Prince That Shall Come
by David Breese
The Tide of Revolution
A reunited Germany has not been looked upon with complete favor
by the nations of the East or the West, in that it now poses many
perplexing questions. In the West, the world remembers that
Germany gave us World War I and II with all of their unspeakably
and terrible results. The former Soviet Union retains the same
memories, with the addition that it saw itself nearly conquered by the
efficient legions of Germany in World War II.
Nevertheless, the tide of sentiment for reunification has now come to
pass, leaving the onlooking nations in a state of bewilderment as to
what its possibilities might be.
The story of Czechoslovakia is amazingly similar. The press carried
the story from Prague:
Czechoslovakia's Communist rulers agreed Friday to accept a minority role in a new national government for the first time since 1948, giving the country's democracy movement its biggest victory to date .... The announcement culminated a series of Communist concessions during the past three weeks to the growing
"people power" of the pro-democracy Civic Forum coalition.
But the tide of revolution rolls on in Czechoslovakia. The people have
announced in many ways that they will accept nothing of Communist
control for the future. Even the minority members of the government
are jeered as representing a bloody, tyrannical system, which they
now want to see relegated to the dustbin of history. These traumatic
changes in Czechoslovakia have been viewed with equal
astonishment by an attentive world.
The dramatic political changes in East Germany and Czechoslovakia
are but a part of the wider changes that have affected Europe in
recent years. The Czechoslovakian action was followed by similar
moves by Communist parties in other East European states to cede power to opposition movements. In Poland, the Communists surrendered the reins of government to Solidarity and took a minority position in the new government. Lech Warangal Solidarity's intrepid leader, became president of Poland. A
stunning reversal of fortune indeed! Hungary and Bulgaria made
similar changes. The story of change continued at a blistering pace. In
an editorial, the Wichita Eagle reported: "Battles - Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania Are Next in Line of Freedom March." It said:
Step by step, the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are
moving toward their goal of independence .... Within hours of the
Lithuanian move to create a multi-party system, the Estonian
Communist Party's Central Committee acted to do almost the same
thing. . . . "The Party's leading role here no longer exists anyway,"
said one Estonian official.
Remarkably, as if presciently sensing the inevitable dissolution of the
Soviet Union, the editorial said:
Indeed, the "leading role" of the Communist Party already has been
revoked in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, and
the Soviet reaction has been benign. For the Soviets to countenance a
change of this magnitude there but not at home would be hypocritical
in the extreme.
The legitimacy of the Soviet government is what's really at issue here,
and nowhere is this more true than in the "captured nations" of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. As they go, perestroika goes -
something else that shouldn't be lost on the Central Committee of the
Soviet Communist Party.
The continuing stories of dramatic changes coming out of the nations
of Europe leave the onlooking world reeling in amazement.
Shaking the Foundations of Communism
These developments have and continue to dynamically
influence the former Soviet Union, or the Commonwealth of
Independent States, as it is now called. The beginning of the end could
be seen for the USSR in stories such as this one carried in the L.A.
Times: "Soviets May Rethink Party Primacy." From Moscow came the
The Kremlin said Friday that it is willing to
consider revising or even eliminating the law guaranteeing the
Communist monopoly on power as part of an overall rewriting of the
The legislators and activists in the Soviet Union
calling for a revision of the party's role and the rise of a multi-party
system on a national level also have been emboldened by the legal
abolition of guaranteed Communist Party dominance in
Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland.
The debate about communism and its right to rule in the Soviet Union
and in Eastern Europe was then punctuated by a series of
developments that had a startling effect on the Party and the people.
The first was the death of Andrei Sakharov. The world was touched
and startled by this event.
Sakharov, the scientist who invented the Soviet version of the
hydrogen bomb, was held in high esteem in the Soviet Union. This
nuclear physicist, reputed to be a Christian, began then to express his
great concern about Communist tyranny. The day before his death, he
had a stirring debate with Gorbachev himself at a meeting of the
Communist Central Committee. This brave and defiant man predicted
the death of the Soviet Union if it did not give freedom to the people.
His brand of courage is rare in all the world, but it came shining
through in the last speech of his life. The next day he died of a heart
attack - we might even say a broken heart.
The Communist world, shaken by this event, soon heard the rumble of
machine gun fire coming from Bucharest, Romania. There had ruled
Nicolae Ceausescu, the most severe and brutal dictator in the entire
Communist world. That rule was soon to be no more.
A few days before Christmas 1989, Ceausescu made a speech to the
people in the main square at Bucharest. This speech was interrupted
by jeers and catcalls as the crowd shouted, "Down with Ceausescu! Down with communism!"
Ceausescu, still under the delusion that he was in full control, ordered
his troops to fire on the crowd. This they did, and hundreds died. Some
soldiers, however, refused to fire on their own friends in the crowd,
and these troopers were executed by Ceausescu's secret police. This
was too much! The crowd, despite the danger, came surging back and
demanded that Ceausescu resign.
This animalistic dictator was quickly caught in a wave of resentment.
There came a speedy trial for him and his wife, which was then
followed by a Christmas-day firing squad. The riddled bodies of "the
Butcher of Bucharest" and his wife were photographed and shown
repeatedly on television across the world. In the Romanian revolution
thousands died, but communism was thrown out.
"The Antichrist is dead! What a wonderful Christmas gift we have
received - the Antichrist is dead!" shouted the people. Speaking from
their Christian background, the people could only use the thoughts of
the Bible to express their reaction to these events.
Is the Antichrist dead? What will be the result of the breakdown of
European communism? How shall we explain what has happened and
is happening in the dissolving Communist world today, and what will be
the outcome of these European events?
When the Romanians called their leader "the Antichrist," they
reminded the world of an explanation of communism given to us by
Solzhenitsyn. He said that all of the dreadful things that have come
upon the Soviet Union - the murder of millions, the closing of churches,
the destruction of freedom, the gulags, and a thousand other cruelties -
have come because "'they have forgotten God." In considering this, we
remember that the Bible says:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is
that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it
should come; and even now already is it in the world
(1 John 4:3).
We must then consider the rise of Antichrist. But first, let
Europe and the Prince That Shall Come 0 179
us look through observant human eyes at the present agony of Europe.
Why the Sudden Change?
When we see the far-reaching nature of these changes, most of us
understandably ask the question, "'Why? What is the reason for this
new permissive attitude that has effectively caused the Communist
world to self-destruct?"
Some have given us the simple, facile explanation that the Communist
leaders became corruptand presumptuous, thereby losing their right to
rule. Others say that Marxism itself has failed and has now become a
non-viable point of view. These remarks are semi-evaluations of the
situation, but they are simply half-truths.
The fact is that the leaders of the Communist world were corrupt and
degenerate from the very beginning and never did have a right to rule.
Marxism was not merely invalidated in these late days; it was never a
valid philosophy. It is simply a collection of mumbo-jumbo about
economics that has never been understood by two Communists in
exactly the same way. Nevertheless, Marxism is complicated enough
so that it was able to pass as a worthy object of discussion for many
years. After all, Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in 1863.
In history, the Communists have always presented themselves as the
"proletariat," the party of the people. The nations that they brutally
captured were dubbed "the People's Republic" of this and that.
Indulgent academicians in the West have pandered to this nonsense for
two generations, never subjecting it to the destructive criticism that it
so richly deserves.
The fact is, the Communists have never come to power in any country
because of the will of the people. The people were simply neutralized
into political impotence while a determined elite took over the nation.
This was done, albeit with difficulty, in the Soviet Union. It was done
with greater ease in the captive nations because the Communist party
was now backed by the merciless fire and steel of the Red Army. A
minority plus bayonets carries the deciding vote against the majority
Probably the best explanation for the allowances within the former
Communist system, which have resulted in these
widespread changes, is an explanation on a two-fold level. The first is
that the Communist system was simply bankrupt. Russia, prior to
the dissolution of the USSR, had a gross national product only 25
percent that of the United States, despite the fact that its population is
larger than that of the United States.
For seventy years, however, the Russians promoted the fiction that the
Communist system was viable and prosperous. Whatever apparent
shortcomings it seemed to show were excused by the statement that
"True communism has not yet come to pass because the imperialists
are still with us." Under this fabrication, people were given utopian
dreams rather than food, clothing, shelter, and a purpose for living.
Those who still retained their cynicism within the Communist system
were simply sent to the gulag or the execution chamber. A bullet in the
back of the head was the final argument the Communist bullies had in
response to the objections of the people.
A second way to explain the permissiveness of the Communist
governments just before their demise is that the leadership had, at least
in a measure, lost its will to be as brutal as was the case in days gone
by. The Chinese answer to the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square
was tanks, bayonets, and thirty-six hundred bodies scattered across
that bloody battleground. The consequence is that public dissent is still
rather rare in China.
In Russia and the former Eastern bloc nations, however, global
publicity, contacts with the West, student exchanges, and other open
windows of media awareness made it impolitic for the former Soviet
Union's Communist bosses to do the same. This does not imply moral
superiority on the part of the former Russian Communist leaders, but it
may imply that they, and their successors, have taken one small step in
the direction of rejoining the human race. After all, Gorbachev seemed
to know something about the Bible.
The Advantages of Perestroika
We must also remember that there are significant new advantages
that came to the Eastern European and Russian states as a result of
this move away from communism. What have they gained? Many
things. These include:
1. A Relaxed Defense Posture by the West
Always prone to believing the best and the most convenient, Western
leaders are now saying, "The cold war is over." They are, therefore,
responding to the moves of the former Communist regimes with not
only a relaxed defense posture, but with massive financial aid and
other assistance to their "former enemies." The cynical Communist
surely rejoices that the West has reverted to slumber instead of facing
its great danger.
2. More U.S. Aid and Investments
The United States and other cooperating nations have now committed
themselves to the investment of at least one billion dollars in Poland
and Hungary alone. When this was done in days gone by, the money
became an outright gift, for we never saw it again. The expectation of
seeing a return on this new sizeable investment is equally remote. Still,
these two nations will get one billion dollars, and we can expect that
billions more will follow.
3. Reduced American Military Forces in Europe
The United States is now planning on a significant force reduction in
Europe, perhaps by one-third. This could not be accomplished by
military means on the part of the Soviet Union, but perestroika has
4. The Diversion of American Attention
While the United States and the West are concentrating on Europe,
revolutionary movements are newly active across the world. El
Salvador and the Philippines have been the object of the latest bloody
attempts at revolution in which the Communists are deeply involved.
American preoccupation with Europe can be expected to reduce our
concern over these other places. Many other revolutions, especially in
Latin America, could follow.
5. A General Power Reduction in America
Already, the overall military budget is being greatly reduced. This
grows out of the judgment now being made that the extension of
American power is no longer needed in the world. This power
reduction by America cannot be expected to improve the American
economy. Rather, as is always the case, the money "'saved" will be
dissipated on other things.
These and many other benefits are now coming to the shaky Commonwealth of Independent States. It is not impossible that Russia itself could gain a "most favored nation" status on the part of the United States. This could be worth additional billions to the Soviet Union. So, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, despite all his problems, is still with us.
A New Europe
The sea-change continues. There is no doubt that the most
widespread movement for change, for restructuring, and for new
arrangements that Europe has seen in forty years is now coming to
pass. Everyone agrees that the governments of Europe, in the sense
in which they relate to one another, are being reformed, recast into a
new mold. Whatever may be the final outcome, Europe cannot be the
Final outcomes quickly change, however. Saddarn Hussein, with his
invasion of Kuwait, has reminded the world of the folly of believing in
permanent peace. Like a global alarm clock, the Mid-East crisis
startled us out of sleep. It brought new, serious considerations to the
United States, to Europe, to Russia, and to the world.
In the midst of these changes, we can be sure that the outcome in
Europe, by the determination of many of its leaders, is not going to be
left to mere chance. No indeed, for the nations of western Europe
have decided to come together with a form of political unity that has
not been known before. Political unity in Europe has always been a
very elusive thing. Indeed, the largest wars of the world have started
in Europe because these nations found it impossible, in the long run, to
Now, however, the sentiment is different. The leaders of Europe are
in effect saying, "We realize that it will not be possible for us to move
again to world supremacy without unity. Therefore, we must lay aside
our differences and come together as a new United States of Europe.
By doing this, we will constitute a power bloc that can move to the
ascendancy of world leadership."
When did all the pieces fall into place? From Strasbourg, France,
came this report:
Leaders of the twelve-nation European Community, closing ranks amid upheaval in Eastern Europe, agreed Friday to press ahead with an economic
and monetary union despite British opposition.
The decision, on the opening day of a two-day
summit, means the European Economic Community will convene a
special conference in December 1990, to start negotiations for the
adoption of a single currency and to set up a system of central banks.
The agreement came after France and West
Germany overrode objections by British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher that radical monetary integration will rob member countries
of sovereign rights to decide national economic policy.
When Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady," resigned as British prime
minister, her stepping aside opened the way for a speedy British
integration into a United Europe.
January 1, 1993 is the announced date when this plan win in fact
materialize. For months, hundreds of committees have been meeting
in the nations of Europe to bring standardization to pass that will make
unity possible. These committees are establishing a unified railway
system, a common currency, a common political structure, free
access across all borders, a common electrical voltage, and a
thousand other commonalties that must be arranged for Europe to
The United States of Europe could quickly become the most powerful
political force in the world. With a population of 320 million, it will
instantly possess unified economic strength that is larger than that of
the United States. It will, therefore, have economic and commercial
power second to none in the entire world.
The Europe of Hope?
Despite every difficulty, the European economic community will bring
itself together to develop a powerful block of economic influence -
possibly the greatest in our time. Jacques Chirac, former conservative
prime minister of France, wrote in the liberal LeMonde of Paris:
Despite the risk of delaying or endangering the process of integration
under way among European Community nations, we must act along
three lines: advance toward economic and monetary union; strengthen measures for political coordination among the principal European states to avert the temptation of taking an "every man for himself" attitude toward relations with the East; and assemble and apply powerful means of pulling the Eastern economies out of their rut.
There remains the critical area of freedoms. A single Europe
stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals should not be two-tiered
where freedoms are concerned. Our" common house" cannot have
wideopen doors and windows on one side, locked doors and barred
windows on the other.
So, it is up to us to implement Europe-wide measures gradually to
provide all citizens with the same fundamental rights. That implies
putting in place a legal order consonant with the principles of freedom
laid down by the Council of Europe: the freeing of all political
prisoners; the closing of gulags; reform of the penal code; introduction
of complete freedom of movement between the two parts of Europe
by abolishing exit visas; and, finally, the symbolic destruction of the
Let us not forget that we have known the Europe of terror and
conquered it; we have lived in the Europe of fear and driven it back.
My confidence in the Europe of hope is, therefore, that much
"The Europe of hope," that is the note being sounded in Europe today.
We do well then to take note of the kind of language that the world is
using to speak about the future. Considering the developments in
Europe and related issues from across the world, there is a sense of
awe, foreboding, and hope about the future.
The Toronto Star carried an article entitled, "Waiting for the
Millennium: Where Is 'Earth, Inc.' Headed?" They said of this decade -
"the last of the millennium, let alone the century - may be the toughest
one yet" and described it this way:
It will be a highly complex period driven by competing forces:
technology and science, plus impassioned. calls for an ethical base according to which they should be monitored. Before the tram of progress gets any further out of the station, it is a safe bet that mankind, at least the version of mankind
dwelling in the industrialized world, will finally start examining
where it is going.
So it is that the remarkable developments of our time, centering in
Europe, are causing people to ask, "What of the future? How will
tomorrow come together?"
Politics, Money, and Military Might
As Europe reconstituted itself into a new political entity, we can be
sure the leaders of Europe intend with total conviction to become the
strongest political force in the world. During the next few years, we
will hear announcements, one after another, about the progressive
strength and mounting capability of Europe.
The first great strength that the European leaders intend to take to
themselves is commercial capability. We can expect them to bring this
to pass. No thinking person must ever underestimate the brilliance of
the Europeans at inventing new products, making better items, selling
their wares, and then promoting them across the world. Already,
Germany has become a commercial enterprise to be respected.
Soon, however, there will be added to this the organizational ability,
the creativity, the salesmanship, the new ideas, and the vision for the
future that will come from the English, the French, the Italians, the
Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and others. The leaders of
Europe can be expected to organize their inventive thinking in the
world of commerce in such a way as to become catalytic. The
possibilities will certainly be amazingly great.
Once Europe's commercial power is developed, they will be faced
with another problem. Their newfound wealth must now be protected!
Europe will immediately realize the necessity of developing a strong
military establishment, an all European army to guard their overflowing
coffers. That military establishment will immediately have two great
The first mission is to protect Europe itself. A revived
Europe will still face the very real danger of invasion from the east
along with new military responsibilities in the Middle East.
Despite all of its inner changes, the former Soviet Union still
possesses the largest military force in the world. It has more tanks,
more artillery, more infantry, more airplanes, more naval vessels and
submarines than anyone else on the face of the Earth. These
capabilities, despite the apparent political change, still remain intact.
For this reason alone, Europe must multiply its defenses rather than
General Colin Powell, United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, just before the dissolution of the USSR, said, "Despite talk of
disarmament, we must remember that the Soviet Union is the only
nation in the world which could destroy the United States in thirty
minutes." That capability has not lessened!
The second mission of a European military establishment must also be
to protect the energy routes from the Middle East. A high percentage -
once nearly 100 percent - of the oil that heats and energizes Europe
comes from the oil-rich lands of the countries surrounding the Persian
Gulf. Should these supplies be threatened, all other considerations
would immediately need to be set aside in favor of guaranteeing the
uninterrupted flow of Mid-East oil. Without this, homes would become
cold, automobiles would be parked by the curb, and airplanes would
no longer fly. The pipeline from the Middle East must always be held
as a major consideration by the planners of Europe's future.
Richard Cheney, the United States Secretary of Defense, called for
the reduction of the American military commitment to Europe. Our
military budget will, he said, be reduced by $180 billion over the next
three years. Plans are to deactivate five American fighter wings and
to pull at least one hundred thousand troops out of Europe. This puts
the pressure on Europe to expand its own military power.
The Europeans, being realists, must take note. Indeed, the Byzantine
political leaders of Europe are not nearly as impressed by rhetoric as
are the Americans. They must, therefore, expand their military
capability, and they will. They can be expected to be relatively
unimpressed by the sweet talk that comes from the other nations of the world. Yes, Europe could soon become the most powerful military force on the face of the earth.
How Europe Lost Its Soul
Commercial, political, and military unity may be easy to achieve, but it
is difficult to sustain. The thinkers of Europe will, therefore, be
expected to ask the question, "Is there some other mucilage, some
other magnetism, some other great force by which we can continue to
draw together the nations of Europe and even the rest of the world
into our plan for the new world that we must, yes we will, create?"
Is there a magnetism that is potentially greater than commercial and
political unity? Yes indeed! It is religious unity.
The call for some kind of common faith must inevitably grow out of
the present European developments. What might that common faith
be? We may answer that question readily when we remember that
virtually all of Europe is a part of what has historically been called
"Christian civilization." A high percentage of Europeans still hold to
Roman Catholicism, and many millions are passionate in their
involvement in this faith.
About 450 years ago, Northern Germany, along with England and
parts of Holland, however; embraced the reformation of Martin
Luther. They are Protestant, at least in name, but the form of
Protestantism that is generally embraced in Northern Europe is a
corruption of the reformation faith. Through the years, the form of
Christianity believed on the continent and in England is mere
formalism, sacerdotalism, religious practice, crosses, candles, and
Luther's doctrine of the Bible alone, faith alone, and grace alone has
been generally supplanted by a plethora of religious practices not
greatly dissimilar from Roman Catholicism itself. In fact, there is
already a strong call for reuniting with "the mother church" that comes
from the English Anglicans and even from Northern Europe. As
spiritual convictions subside, the call for organizational unity grows.
Christianity has always been the object of attempted subversion, and
one of the most successful forms impacted the faith in the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries. In the latter half of the last century, Europe
opened itself to dreadful spiritual and cultural deterioration by allowing the Christian faith to be corrupted before its very eyes. What happened?
German rationalism and European pseudo-intellectualism ushered in
religious liberalism. Julius Wellhausen presented the "Documentary
Hypothesis," which really denied the inspiration of the Old Testament
Scriptures. As a result, the Bible became a merely human book '
devoid of divine inspiration.
The European rationalists arrogated to themselves the right to
examine the Bible and pass judgments upon it, rather than allowing the
Bible to examine them. Man became the intellectual master of his
"Christian" religion, rather than Christ being the author of divine
revelation and the Lord of the human condition.
What was the result? Europe, and finally most of Western civilization,
lost its moorings, its spiritual foundations. European Christianity, while
still meeting in buildings and lighting candles, ceased to believe in the
primacy of divine revelation. Human reason became superior to the
Word of God, and the will of man more desirous than the will of God.
The result was that the intellectuals of Europe no longer protected
themselves and the people from the evolution of Darwin, the social
theories of Marx, and the deadly philosophy of Rousseau and other
enemies of reason and realty.
Another strange result occurred. At the beginning of this century,
Albert Einstein announced the theory of relativity. This understanding
demonstrated itself to be eminently true in the realm of physics and
now nuclear physics. Europe, however, by this time becoming
intellectually faddist, made relativity a social philosophy. From then on,
all things were relative, and final absolutes disappeared.
There are many who are willing to argue, therefore, that the two
greatest wars in the history of the world grew out of European
spiritual, religious, and philosophical degeneracy. The liberal poison
worked, not merely to the bewilderment of individuals, but also to the
destruction of the soul of Europe. Yes, it can be said that this is the century in which Europe lost its
What fearful consequences will yet come upon Europe for
its rejection of biblical Christianity?
Can Europe ever regain its commanding position of influence and
consequence in the world? Be very sure that this is the intention of the
European political leaders, philosophers, and economists in our time. In
these very days, they are thinking every moment about a sense of
destiny with reference to the future. They anticipate and deliberately
plan to put together a new power block that will be second to none
across our present world. But they plan largely without including the
true God in their ambitions.
How will they do this? It does not strain the imagination to think that
there could quickly develop in Europe a composite form of
theologically corrupted neo-Christianity plus New Age paganism that
could be the initial magnetism to pun Europe together in a program of
In Europe and across the world, the call for "Christian unity" is coming
on very strong. Many denominations - even in America - beset by
lack of attendance, financial problems, mediocre leadership, aging
buildings, rusting machinery, and spiritual exhaustion are beginning to
think of global religious unity as the answer, producing the dawn of a
new age. Look for that call to grow, and especially listen for it to
come out of the continent of Europe as the West seeks its soul again.
The Threat of War
These forms of unity - commercial, political, military, and religious -
cannot, however, be expected to happen by accident. In all of history,
unity has been based on two major considerations: a principle that is
compelling but somewhat abstract, and a leader who is concrete and
charismatic. People rarely gather or exercise great passions over
mere principle or a point of doctrine. When that "ideology" or spiritual
point of view is embodied in a great personal communicator, however,
then presto, a catalytic conversion takes place.
We have seen this in the past, have we not? This is the way it was
with Hitler in Germany, with Mussolini in Italy, and with the god-man
Hirohito in Japan. Yes, this century has produced evidence, which is
still frighteningly remembered, of the conversion and catalyzing of
whole nations around a compelling, charismatic leader.
Can this be expected in Europe? It indeed must be the case, or the
planned unity of Europe will fractionalize itself into a thousand pieces.
In fact, even the present gathering of Europe is focused around
individual, commanding leaders whose voices are respected. None of
them however, appears at this moment to have the ultimate charisma
to gather the passions of Europe and hold them in his right hand.
What could trigger the emergence of such a leader? Many things -
the paramount one being the threat of global war. Be sure that this
era of "the cold war is past" and "peace is now upon us" will not
continue. Christ told us this. He said, "And ye shall hear of wars and
rumors of wars ......
Jesus said that this would always be the case in all of history. He then
expanded upon this by saying, "For nation shall rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom." The Bible never promises that man will be
able to bring peace on earth, although it indicates many peace
movements will make such a promise.
The threat of war would produce great fear across Europe and the
other nations of the West, including America. Such a threat often
produces a degree of irrationality, whereby people accept solutions
that would otherwise be rejected. They can certainly be expected to
accept a solution from a great, respected world leader.
The Man With The Plan
One can easily envision such a leader presenting himself on
international television as "the man with the plan." One could almost
hear him say: "Dear friends of earth, brothers and sisters. Let me
extend a great call to sanity. We are now presented with the
possibility of nuclear holocaust, but such a thing does not have to
come to pass. Why should millions die when it could be otherwise?
Let us meet together under the great cause of world peace, and let us
plan our tomorrows as civilized men. Yes, I have a plan whereby we
can move beyond the threat of war into a millennium of peace, and
yes, a new age of prosperity."
With these and many other words, a beguiling voice could easily
attract the attention, the loyalty, and the cooperation of the nations of
Such a person may already be a well-known religious leader, already
being accepted and trusted by millions. One can easily envision the
rulers of the nations responding by saying, "You be our leader! We
are willing to follow you. We believe in your program for a global
We can easily see, then, how this person could be expected to say:
"Thank you so much for your response! But God has called me to
spiritual things. May I therefore introduce to you Mr. So-And-So,
whom I consider to be one of the potentially great men of our time.
He has wide vision, large comprehension, and boundless energy. He
speaks many languages, and I recommend that we appoint him as
chairman of the committee to plan the future and to achieve world
peace and comity of nations."
Yes, a global religious leader could easily be the catalyst to install. a
political leader who would be instantly respected, loved, admired, and
Is this a plausible scenario for the days to come? It is entirely
plausible on a simple human level, but it is more than that! When we
look into the Word of God and its prophecy about the future, we see
that such a development is inevitable.
Will Europe produce a great world political leader? Yes, it will! Will
this great political leader come to power with the help of a great
religious leader? Yes, he will! The Bible indicates that exactly this will
take place in the world as we move toward the end of the age.
Yes, observing even through human eyes, we can see the emergent
inevitability of the fulfillment of the biblical picture. Considering, then,
the teaching of the Word of God, let us ask, "Is the rise of Antichrist
The Last Empire
How wonderful it is that God has given us, in His Word, the only
reliable projection available to tell us of the future. We can
understand the direction of our world and its ultimate outcome only by
understanding the Word of God. We must take confidence in the fact
We have also a more sure word of prophecy;
whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the
day star arise in your hearts (2 Pet. 1:19).
In the prophetic Word we learn that we have a dependable source of
information, and the examining of that information produces immense
profit. We do need to take heed to what the Bible says.
What then does the Bible say about that leader who will come to
power first in Europe and then become the leader of the entire world?
The Scripture says:
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not
for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy
the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a
flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are
determined (Dan. 9:26).
Here we have a very remarkable prophecy in the Old Testament
concerning the coming of the Antichrist.
First of all, this verse reminds us of that awful event in which the
Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ the King of
all kings, would be cut off "but not for himself." Here is a prophetic
foretelling of the death of the Saviour in which Christ would give His
life for the sins of the world.
Who are the people who cut off the Messiah? Who are the people
who destroyed the city and the sanctuary? Quite obviously, the
answer is Rome. It was the Roman Empire that was the master of
the world in the days of the earthly ministry of Christ. It was a
Roman sword that pierced the side of Jesus Christ, and it was a
Roman soldier's arm that drove those awful spikes through His hands
and through His feet. It was a Roman army under Titus that
destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70.
This prophecy in the Book of Daniel describes the activity of a power
that can only be fulfilled by the historic Roman Empire and the
Roman Empire reconstituted as the last great empire of earth.
We must remember that only four great empires will rule the world in
the entire history of man. These four great empires
are: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In Daniel's description, the
great emphasis is on that fourth empire. The Scripture says:
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron
breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh
all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest
the feet and toes, part of the potters' clay, and part of iron, the
kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the
iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as
the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom
shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest
iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed
of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not
mixed with clay Pan. 2:40-43).
Here we have a perfect description of the final stage of the empire of
Rome and of present-day Europe. In its earliest constitution, Rome
was the great power of the world but was then divided into two great
entities: the East, ruled by Constantinople; and the West, centered in
In its final form, the empire will be both unified and divided, divided
into ten kingdoms but unified as a kingdom in and of itself under a
great leader. It is that complicated political entity, the reconstituted
Roman Empire, which will produce, according to the prophet Daniel,
the prince that shall come.
A reconstituted Roman Empire - that means Europe. It can only
mean Rome and its environs: Italy, Germany, France, Holland,
Belgium, and England; all of which and more were a part of the
original Roman Empire. As we see this complex coming together with
breathtaking speed, we must realize that right before our eyes is
developing the political base for the prince that shall come, the
Antichrist. What then does the Bible say about this coming dreadful
Daniel, describing the prince that shall come, the Antichrist, gives us a real insight into his personality and power:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear
out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:
and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the
dividing of time (Dan. 7:25).
Speaking further about him, Daniel says:
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are
come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark
sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by
his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper,
and practice, and shall destroy the holy people. And through his policy
also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify
himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also
stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without
hand (Dan. 8:23-25).
So it is that the Antichrist will be a remarkable person, and by a
program of peace will institute what finally will be great destruction
in the world.
Who is this person who is called "the beast" (Rev. 13:4), "the man of
sin" (2 Thess. 2:3), "the son of perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3)? While the
Bible does not give us his name, it gives us many characteristics of
this evil monster who will initially come to power in a revived Europe
and ultimately, for a brief hour, rule the world. What does the
Scripture say about him? Its denotations include the following:
1) He will come presenting a great program of peace (Dan. 8:25).
2) He will oppose Christ, the Prince of princes Pan. 8:25).
3) He shall wear out the saints of the most High (Dan. 7:25).
4) He will come out of the people who cut off Messiah the Prince
5) He will make a covenant with the nation of Israel (Dan. 9:27).
6) He will break that covenant and persecute the Jews (Dan. 9:27).
7) He will pretend to be God Himself (2 Thess. 2:4).
8) He will occupy the rebuilt temple, the temple of God (2 Thess. 2:4).
9) He will perform the will of Satan (2 Thess. 2:9).
10) He will bring strong delusion to the whole world (2 Thess. 2:11).
11) He will be wounded to death, but he will recover (Rev. 13:14-15).
12) He will blaspheme God (Rev. 13:5-6).
13) All the world will worship him (Rev. 13:8).
14) He will be a miracle worker (Rev. 13:13-14).
15) He will set up his image that speaks like a man (Rev. 13:14-15).
16) He will cause every person to receive a mark, the mark of the
beast (Rev. 13:16).
17) He will himself have a number, 666 (Rev. 13:18).
The person who has wisdom (Rev. 13:18) will note these
characteristics and will possess information that will be valuable in
discerning the times in which we live. These details about the
Antichrist are provided in Scripture for a purpose, and we do well to
carefully heed the prophetic Word and let it affect our fives. Foolish
indeed is the Christian who, for whatever reason, ignores the
predictions of Scripture about the last days.
The predictions of Scripture plus the developments of our times are
producing a stunning impact upon our world. When we remember that
Europe will be the initial power base for the Antichrist, we should be
thoughtful. Remembering also that he will expand his reign to rule the
world as earth's most powerful dictator, we think further. We even
wonder what amazing cosmic power must be working even in our
time to bring these developments so quickly to pass.
The Power Behind the Throne
We must notice from these passages that the Antichrist, when he
comes, will not gain the ascendancy or the ability to rule simply by his
own power. No indeed, there is a ferocious spiritual power that will
give the Antichrist his capability. What is this power? Again, the
Scripture describes this exactly. Speaking of the Antichrist, it says:
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall
consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the
brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the
working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And
with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be
saved (2 Thess. 2:8-10).
The true power behind the Antichrist is that of Satan himself. It is the
devil who will finally raise up his man, his representative, who will
organize the world against God.
The Scripture sounds an interesting note concerning the religious
leader who will gather the religions of the world in a great ecumenical
faith that will then be invoked in the service of the Antichrist. The
religion of the Antichrist will ultimately be satanism. The Scripture
And they [the people of the world] worshipped the dragon [the devil]
which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast,
saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with
him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies ... (Rev. 13:4-5).
So the devil produces a program of global worship in which the world
falls before the Antichrist. He does use a religious leader to do this,
described in Scripture:
And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth; and he had two
horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exerciseth all
the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and
them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound
was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire
come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And
deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles
which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them
that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast,
which had the wound by a sword, and did five (Rev. 13:11-14).
A satanic trinity will first come to power in a revived Roman Empire
and then move out to become the political and religious masters of the
world. These are Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet.
We must also notice that the Scripture teaches that there will be a
covenant between the Antichrist and the nation of Israel. This
covenant (military alliance) will be broken by the Antichrist, and he
will initiate a persecution of Israel that will be fearful indeed. This
activity will bring to pass the last half of a period of time called "the
Tribulation," this last half being "the Great Tribulation." The Scripture
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in
the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to
cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it
desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be
poured upon the desolate (Dan. 9:27).
Notice there will be a covenant made by the Antichrist with "the
many" (Israel). In response to this covenant, he may well move an
army into Israel as a defense against a mighty invasion from the north
when Russia moves to the south (Ezek. 38-39). Out of this notable
victory, which actually will be won by the Lord, the Antichrist could
well be escalated on this account to world leadership. Temporarily, he
will be a great friend to the nation of Israel, but will ultimately be the
bitterest enemy of God's people.
What will finally be the end of the Antichrist? The Scripture says that
he will be destroyed by the return of Jesus Christ when our Lord
comes at the end of the great battle of Armageddon. The Antichrist is called the one "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and He shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." When Christ comes again in power and great glory, He will depose the Antichrist, who then will be cast into the lake that bums with fire and brimstone for ever and ever.
In fact, we do well to think specifically of what will happen to the
Antichrist as taught in the prophetic Word. The lesson of his tragic end
is that evil will not finally triumph. The message of the Bible is that evil
is temporary, but righteousness is eternal. In the last analysis, any ruler
or any ordinary man is a total fool who attempts to oppose God and
His program. While many make the attempt, even in our time, the life
lived in opposition to God is the life of insanity. We can see this from
the ultimate end of the Antichrist.
While the Antichrist will appear to be very successful for a time, that
success will not continue. He will rule the world and fill himself with
inexorable pride. That pride will lead him finally to make war on God
himself. Does he succeed in dethroning God? No, indeed. Notice what
the Bible teaches about the dreadful consequences that will come
upon the man of sin:
1. He and his power will be destroyed by the
brightness of the coming of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:8).
2. The saints of God will share in the final defeat
of the Antichrist when Jesus comes again (Rev. 19:14).
3. The Antichrist and the false prophet, his religious associate who wrought miracles and deceived the world, will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20).
4. He is found in that lake of fire a thousand years later, and there the beast and the false prophet will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10).
This remarkable scenario comes to us from the prophetic Word and
should be the object of great attention by believers in our time.
To Rule the World
Seeing these things in the Word of God, perceptive readers of Holy Scripture should then also take notice of the circumstances in our
current history. The present disturbances in Europe, along with newly
formed United States of Europe, cannot be ignored. Such a historical
development comes closer than anything the world has ever seen to
the scenario described in the Word of God.
A revived and reconstituted Europe, in the very nature of things, must
produce military power and a great political leader. It must also finally
produce religious unity under a great spiritual leader as well. The
conjoining of these two bases, political and religious, will make of
Europe a power that will soon aspire to rule the world. All of these
considerations are presented in the prophetic Word and are the near-
predictable results of this present development, even to the casual,
A friend recently called me and said, "Dave, I've just been to Germany
and have visited the Berlin Wall." This was followed by a most
My correspondent said with earnest concern, "I can tell you that in
Berlin today and across Germany there is being born a new, most
dynamic spirit the like of which I have never seen before in my life.
These people truly believe that the dawn of a new age is coming.
They are confident that there will be a revived, unified Europe that will
lead the world. They believe that the breakdown of the Communist
system in Eastern Europe and the development of the European
economic community, soon to be followed by the United States of
Europe, will escalate Europe into influence such as it has never seen
before. They are confident that a world economy will now develop
with Europe taking the lead, and they use those very words."
My correspondent then said, "I was absolutely amazed to see the utter
dynamism on the part of the thinking of the people of Europe. I
wanted to take the time to call you because what is reported in the
press is merely a pale representation of the real scene there. The
people of Germany and the balance of Europe have boundless
enthusiasm and the most ambitious set of ideas for the future that Ive
ever seen in any culture in my entire life.
Eyewitness reports like this are coming in from Europe by all who
visit and see the amazing developments taking place. Living in times
like these should cause believers everywhere to commit themselves to
a new and sober reflection as to analyzing the tide of our times. We
should be thinking more deeply, praying more sincerely, and laboring
with the totality of our efforts for Christ to be adequate for the
challenge of times like these.
What Should We Do?
There is an important final consideration that the student of the
prophetic Word win never ignore. After the Bible tens us that there
will be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, it says that on
the earth will be "distress of nations, with perplexity."
This is a reminder that the brightest secular rulers of the world will
simply not know what to do or be able to handle the situation. It then
follows this by saying that the very hearts of men will fail them for
fear and for looking after those things that are soon to come to pass,
predicting that the powers of heaven will be shaken. These are the
words of Jesus in Luke 21:25-26.
After saying this, Christ then warned the world with the
announcement that these events would be followed by the Son of
Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Surely this
announcement should cause every one of us to at least allow for the
possibility that our generation is speeding toward the consummation of
Many then ask the question, "What should I do?" The answer comes
from the Lord Jesus when He said, "And when these things begin to
come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head; for your redemption
Out of this, we have words of eternal encouragement to every person
who has believed the gospel of Christ. Having believed in Jesus, His
person, and His death upon the cross, one becomes a Christian and
the inheritor of everlasting life. The developments of our time should
cause every believer to look forward with greater anticipation than
ever to his translation from this world to the world that is to come. He
should look up for a redemption that draws nigh.
These events should have a second result. For everyone who has not
yet believed in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, the Bible warns
them that there is terror, judgment, and condemnation to come. The
amazing unfolding of the events of these times should cause each
person who is not a Christian to face the fact that they are lost
Each person, then, who is not a Christian does well to ask the
question, "What shall I do?" The answer is very clear in the Word of
God. In order to be a Christian the Bible says to "believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31). It announces
very clearly that "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of
God abideth on him" (John 3:36). The eternal destiny of your life
depends on whether you do or do not believe in Jesus Christ.
Looking at the events of our day, at the Middle East, at Europe, at the
United States, at our beleaguered world, we are forced to agree that
the biblical picture of the future is true. The earnest recommendation
that we have for all, then, is to be sure that you have received
redemption in Jesus Christ.
The Bible promises you "that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Make this the day you
believe the gospel! The gospel is the marvelous announcement that
"Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was
buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the
scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Believing this opens the door to life
Salvation, then, is a most urgent call. The events of our time add to
that urgency. "Now is the accepted time, today is the day of