A few weeks ago, I was reading one of my favorite blogs when I stumbled upon a news item that stopped me dead in my tracks. In case you missed it, the head of PIMCO (the largest bond fund in the world) essentially said the European Union (EU) cannot survive unless it becomes “the United States of Europe.”
Here are the exact words of PIMCO managing director Andrew Bosomworth as quoted in the UK Telegraph (emphasis mine):
“The lesson from history is that the status quo we have now is not a tenable structure. There’s no historical precedent that this sort of structure, which is centralised monetary policy, decentralised fiscal policy, can last over multiple decades. You need to reach some sort of political agreement about how to share fiscal resources around the zone. We’re a long, long, long way from designing that and getting the political backing for it,” he said.
“Will we get the United States of Europe? It’s not impossible, but Europe could also spend many decades in a hybrid form of a political and fiscal federation. While there might not be one government, one passport and one army, we could be moving closer towards that – but not yet.”
Mr. Bosomworth makes a great point. In its current form, the EU can’t last much longer. Each member state has a different fiscal policy with different work laws, business regulations, welfare benefits, etc. Yet they all share the same currency, and no individual state is capable of adjusting that currency to account for those differences. This creates a perpetual imbalance that pushes the weaker states into a constant state of economic depression.
To correct the problem, one of two things must happen:
1) A complete break-up of the European Union, or
2) Further unification – meaning the establishment of a United States of Europe featuring a single, unified fiscal and monetary policy.
“Okay,” you might think. “So what? Why did this article stop you dead in your tracks?”
This is why… Mr. Bosomworth describes a situation outlined in the Bible more than 2,500 years ago. In ancient Babylon, the prophet Daniel interpreted one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. This dream involved a succession of empires ruling over Israel. According to Daniel, the statue’s iron and clay feet and toes represent ten nations that will attempt to strengthen themselves through an alliance or “intermarriage” (Daniel 2:43). In other words, they’ll try to form a union, but their attempt at unity will be far less than a smashing success. It will be frail and feeble, like an attempt to mix iron and clay.
Has this ever happened before? Never. At least not until now. But this is exactly what we see in the EU today. The EU’s monetary policy, coupled with a wide variety of uncoordinated fiscal policies, creates an unstable mixture similar to iron and clay.
Now, am I saying the European Union is the kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? No. At least not at this moment. However, it has an uncanny resemblance, and we have every reason to believe the EU will spawn the Antichrist’s world empire.
First, the European Union contains the world’s 4th, 5th, and 6th largest economies (Germany, France, and the United Kingdom), but it also contains the world’s 102nd, 121st, and 136th largest economies (Estonia, Iceland, and Malta). The European Union is literally a loosely connected confederation of nation states – some strong and some weak. And this is precisely the type of arrangement the Bible says will exist in the time just prior to Christ’s return (Daniel 2:38-45).
Second, Daniel said the final world empire will emerge from the previous empire (Rome). Years after he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel had a vision of four beasts representing the same empires (Daniel 7:1-28). He describes the fourth beast as a world empire established by ten kingdoms, but we know from his vision that Rome is this fourth beast. So like Israel before it, we should expect the re-emergence of the Roman Empire. In the Book of Revelation, John also says this (Revelation 17:9-10). Today, many of the racial and cultural descendants of the Roman Empire live in the 28 nations that comprise the EU, and almost every member state was a territory of the ancient Roman Empire.
Third, Daniel said the kingdom and the people of the Antichrist are the same as those who would destroy the Temple after the Messiah appears (Daniel 9:26). The Romans destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70, almost four decades after the crucifixion of Jesus. And the EU includes Italy, home to Rome and the people who destroyed the Temple.
So, given all this information, why do I say the EU isn’t necessarily the kingdom foreseen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (at least as of right now)? Because the Bible says that ten kings will rule the revived Roman Empire. And right now, the EU is not ruled by ten kings. That said, the framework exists for the emergence of a revived Roman Empire – an empire in the exact form Daniel foretold for the last days.
How many generations over the past 2,600 years can make that same claim? Only one: Our generation.
In the 19th Century, many students of Bible prophecy predicted the re-emergence of Israel as a nation state. Why? Because the Bible foretold it. Those people were mocked and ridiculed. The world considered the idea absurd. Yet it happened.
Likewise, many of those same Bible prophecy students predicted the rise of a confederation of nations in Western Europe, and we’ve seen such a confederation slowly come together since World War II. Today, the stage is set for a ten nation alliance of weak and strong European nations to emerge as a world power. The EU is a forerunner of that alliance. It has a common currency and common diplomatic interests. And right now, it’s trending toward even greater political unity. According to the Bible, this is exactly what we should expect to see in the days and years leading up to the Second Coming. So what conclusion should you draw? Only one…
Jesus is coming!