Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy – Program 5

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1998
Is the European Union the “Revived Roman Empire” prophesied by Daniel?


What Role Will the European Union Play in End Time Events?

Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy.” We have three distinguished guests with us: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, an international journalist presently living and reporting from Jerusalem, Israel; Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Executive Director of The Friends of Israel. He is an expert on the issues dividing Islam, Israel and the Western World. And Professor Dr. Renald Showers from Lancaster Bible College, Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of the Bible. Gentlemen, we’re glad that you’re here.
Dr. Showers, I’d like you to start us off. In the news we’ve all been watching the European Union. On January 1, 1993, Western Europe became a single economic market linking 345 million people in 12 nations together. It eliminated all the tariffs and the custom barriers. I have some business friends that are in Europe. They thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread because they got rid of the bureaucracy of 12 different countries.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said, “Europe will move into an ever-closer community, not just a free trade zone.” They have already agreed on further unification efforts, including the issuing of a single currency no later than 1999; to forge a common foreign and security policy. They want to influence and control in these 12 nations education, public health, culture, consumer protection, industry, research and development, the environment and social affairs. According to Forbes magazine, by the year 2010, the EU will be ranked number one in the world’s economy. The United States will be second, China will be third, and Japan will be fourth.
Now, when people that know their Bible read their Bible, we talk in terms of prophecy about something called the Revived Roman Empire. My question to you is, explain that to our audience and could it be that this European Union of countries, the EU, could it be that this is the Revived Roman Empire?
Showers: In Daniel Chapter 7 the prophet Daniel recorded a prophetic vision that God gave to him. In that vision God portrayed the whole future course of Gentile world dominion from Daniel’s day, when Babylon was a great world power, right up to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. And Daniel saw four wild animals coming out of the sea. The first one was a winged lion; that represented Babylon in his day. The second one was a lopsided bear and that represented the next Gentile kingdom, Medo-Persia. The third one was a four-winged, four-headed leopard. That represented Greece initially under Alexander the Great. But then the fourth beast was so terrible in its overwhelming destructive power that there was no animal alive on the face of the earth that fit the description of that and that represented the Roman Empire.
And as Daniel was watching this fourth beast, he noted that there were ten horns upon its head and he was really curious as to what this fourth beast and the ten horns represented and there was an interpreting angel that accompanied the prophetic vision.
And the angel said that the fourth beast represented a fourth kingdom, a Gentile kingdom that would appear upon the world scene and would be able to conquer just about everything that would be in its way. But then he said, “Out of that kingdom there would be ten kings represented by the ten horns.” In other words, ten rulers that would arise. The angel was indicating that the Roman Empire would go through at least two phases of history. One would be the beast conquering phase and that was certainly true of the ancient Roman Empire. But then the second phase would be a revived form of the Roman Empire that would consist of ten divisions confederated together under ten equal rulers.
Now, it’s interesting when you go back and study the history of the ancient Roman Empire, you find that never did the ancient Roman Empire consist of ten divisions with ten equal rulers ruling at the same time. And so in light of that, students of the Word of God are forced to conclude that the second stage of the Roman Empire’s history is yet future. It has not yet appeared upon the world scene. And many scholars are convinced, and I believe they’re right on this, that this is the direction that, formerly known as the Common Market, now the European Union is heading. One of the reasons we are convinced that is true is because ever since the western half of the ancient Roman Empire fell to barbarians in 476 AD, key Western European leaders have had the dream of someday reviving the Roman Empire on planet earth. And so we are convinced that this Revived Roman Empire will be formed in Western Europe and that initially it will consist of ten divisions with ten equal rulers.
Interestingly, on March 25, 1957, leaders of six Western European nations gathered on the Palatine Hill in the city of Rome and formed what became known as “The Common Market.” And when that was started, a number of Western European leaders expressed the hope that this eventually would develop into a federation of Western European nations that they could call the United States of Europe. And the intriguing thing is, you mentioned, John, that up until recently there were twelve member nations; now it has increased to fifteen; and some are saying it looks as if it could quickly swell to nineteen member nations because other European nations are filing application to join.
What do we do with the number “ten” that’s there in the Book of Daniel? By the way, you have it again in Revelation 17:10. Interestingly, again, in Forbes magazine, there was a German banking firm, the Dresdner Bank, that ran a fascinating advertisement about the direction that Europe is heading with the Common Market or European Union. And they indicated that once this system is fully operational, Europe is going to be reorganized, not into nations but into regions; that they’re going to do away with national boundaries and reorganize Western Europe into regions. And so the number ten could very well be referring to ten regions rather than ten nations. But it will be a revived form of the ancient Roman Empire that initially will consist of a confederation of ten divisions with ten equal rulers.
DeYoung: You know, right at the Gulf Crisis, at the end of the Gulf Crisis, as a journalist I was covering a conference because members, political leaders in Europe decided they needed to have a conference with Israel after the Gulf Crisis. Most of their food stuffs are imported out of Israel. I don’t know if you know this or not, but Holland exports to the world about 65% of the flowers and they import from Israel 70% of their flowers. And so Israel is key as far as the economy of Europe is concerned.
They have the first European-Israel Conference. And in that conference—I was covering it as a journalist—in the conference a member of the European Parliament got up and he said exactly what Rennie was talking about. “We have been inundated with requests to become members of the European Community or the EU or the EC.” And he said, “I don’t know what we’re going to do. Some of them we know for sure we’re going to have to turn them down.” He talked about Morocco, for example. But then he made this statement–and this was a parliamentarian of the European Parliament. He said, “What we’re going to have to do is expand our vision, enlarge our borders, and in fact, we need to enlarge the borders of the European Community to be the exact same borders of the old Roman Empire.” I picked myself up off the floor after it was over, checked my tape recorder to make sure I had that statement, and I did.
Ankerberg: Let’s move on to the next spot and that is, let’s say that it is. Big deal. Why is that so important?
McQuaid: Well, I think there’s an indication of that in something that happened just a few years ago, really to the surprise of everyone. I was having lunch with a friend of mine who was a diplomat in the Israeli Embassy in Washington. He’s now the Ambassador to Ethiopia. And during the middle of our lunch he said, “You know, something interesting is going to happen that’s going to surprise many people in about three weeks.”
And I said, “What’s that.”
And he said, “We’re going to establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican.”
And I said, “That’s interesting. Why hasn’t it been done before?”
He said, “Well, there were always arguments over mostly our making concessions to the Vatican that we refused to make. However, they suddenly came to us and said, ‘Let’s forget all that. Let’s make diplomatic relations now. We’ll settle all these smaller issues at a future time.’ So we are going to establish diplomatic relations, we’re going to exchange ambassadors to the Vatican and to Israel.”
And then I said, “Why are they doing this now after all of these years?”
And he said this: “When the final determination is made later in this century about the future of Jerusalem, the Vatican wants to have a seat on the international body that controls the destiny and determines the future destiny of Jerusalem.”
And I think that when you combine what we just heard with this aspect of it, that Western Europe is interested religiously, politically, economically in the future of Israel and everybody wants a piece of it.
Ankerberg: We’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’ll let you get right into it, Jimmy. Here’s the thing. What I was driving at is that the Bible says the person, this charismatic political leader that is going to kind of persuade the world to follow him, that is going to lead this Revived Roman Empire, is going to make a peace treaty with Israel. Okay? We have Israel as a nation back in the land and Voila! We’ve got the whole world putting pressure on them to settle for peace. I want to know, do you think the Antichrist is going to show up soon, according to what you’re seeing? Why would Israel believe the political leader out of the European Union and trust them to guard them and, oh, by the way, what happened to America because we’re the ones that are protecting her right now? I think that’ll be keeping them hanging until we get right back. Stick with us.

Ankerberg: We’re back and we’re talking with three distinguished guests about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy.” And Jimmy DeYoung, let me come to you. You reside in Jerusalem, Israel. We’ve talked about the European Union that is taking place right before our eyes. If that is the Revived Roman Empire that the Bible predicts, the Bible also predicts that out of that Revived Roman Empire we’re going to have a political leader that’s going to come forth. He’s going to persuade the world, in essence, to follow him and he’s also going to make a deal with Israel. Do you see that happening anytime soon?
DeYoung: I certainly do. I believe that individual who is Antichrist, who will be energized by Satan is alive and well on planet earth. In October of 1991, as a journalist I was in the city of Rome. The Pope called together the political leaders and the religious leaders of all of Europe. They had a conference. “What can we do to jell the European Community into one unit?”
After three days, the Pope held a news conference and he said, “The lowest common denominator to pull these nations together is religion.” And this one world leader, the Antichrist, not only will be a great political leader in this world, but a religious leader as well over a one world religion. Antichrist will come up out of the European Community.
Rennie gave us the scenario from Daniel Chapter 7. Ten nations come together. Ten horns that was talked about there, the little horn, Antichrist, comes to power. He then, it says, “confirms.” I always used to say, “Wait a minute. The Antichrist has to sign a peace treaty with Israel.” And after the Camp David Accords people asked me, “Was that the peace treaty?” After the Declaration of Principles in September of ‘93 between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Is that it? No. After, and I was at the spot when they signed the treaty between Jordan and Israel. I was in the Arabah there at the Red Sea the day, October 26, 1994, that they signed it. People called me, “Is this?” And I said, “No!” Then I went back to Daniel 9:27 and I looked at that verse again. It says, “And he shall confirm a covenant with many for seven years.” I said, “Wait a minute.” I looked up that word “confirm” in the Hebrew. It’s gabar. And it doesn’t say, “sign,” it says, “confirm.” Make stronger, strengthen. Here’s a Camp David Accord. It’s not working. It has never been normalized. Here is the Palestinian-Israeli Oslo Accord. It’s not working. The only one that seems to be normalizing is the Jordan-Israeli Accord and all of these on the table and not working, ready for someone to come in, make it stronger, strengthen it, confirm it—the Antichrist.
One final thought. The Bible tells us that Antichrist is going to be ushered in by something very interesting; unique events taking place. Matthew 24:24 says, “Almost the very elect will be deceived by Antichrist through signs, wonders and miracles.” 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 says Antichrist will come to power through signs, wonders and miracles. The Book of Revelation Chapter 13 says, “The false prophet will perform signs, wonders and miracles, calling fire out of heaven.” And Antichrist, Satan, the false prophet will call the nations of the world with signs, wonders and miracles. In my opinion, the greatest indicator, the most solid evidence of the soon coming of Antichrist—signs, wonders and miracles—that are prevalent across our world, even in our Christian world.
McQuaid: And there’s another element in that also, John, that we see coming to the fore today as never in the history of this country, certainly never in our own experience. It also said that the hallmark of the character of the Antichrist is going to be blasphemy. And he blasphemes God. Blasphemes His sanctuary. Blasphemes His people. So the hallmark of his life and work is going to be blasphemy. So we see these coming together. An unprecedented preoccupation with the occult, with signs, wonders. The world is becoming more credulous as we become more sophisticated and more educated, which is a very strange kind of a thing. We thought education would free us, but it’s bringing a kind of the servitude as it divorces itself from God and moral standards and values so there’s obsession with the occult; there is rampant blasphemy in every phase of our society, and I think it’s saying that the door is swinging open for the entry of the Antichrist.
Ankerberg: Elwood, tell me this. What happens to America?
McQuaid: There’s only one place in the Bible that I can find America in Bible prophecy. Of course, there are those who tell us. A man told me sometime ago, he said, “You really don’t know Bible prophecy. If you knew anything about it, you would know that America is in Bible prophecy.” And I said, “Well, teach me, please.” And he said, “Spell Jerusalem.” And I said, “Jerusalem.” He said, “There it is, stupid. USA right in the center of Jerusalem. You can’t spell Jerusalem without the….” I mean, that’s the kind of thing we hear. And by the way, in a practical way we should all run as quickly as we can from all of those types of kook fringe manifestations of so-called biblical prophecy.
But when the Scripture speaks, in the Book of Zechariah Chapter 14 of all the nations being gathered together against Jerusalem and against His people and against His Messiah and against His city, I believe there you can identify where the United States will be in biblical prophecy. Otherwise, what I see is this. And of course, we can only give this a best-guess scenario. We are becoming militarily inadequate. We have lost our will to use the power that we have. We’re becoming economically insignificant. We’re becoming morally degenerate. And we’re becoming a people who has lost its focus on the importance of our relationship to the nation Israel and to the proclamation of the Gospel of God’s grace. And for those reasons, I believe the United States is fast going off the scene as a significant entity.
DeYoung: And you know we’re being programmed to explain away—not “we.” That’s an editorial “we” I’m talking about. We, that know Christ, will be caught up at the Rapture. We won’t be here during that time. But the world is being programmed, especially the United States of America, to explain away the Rapture. Independence Day! We happened to catch that film on the flight coming back from Israel. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. An invasion from outer space? E.T. the number one film of all time. Toys being sold. We’re going to be able to explain away the Rapture after it takes place by saying, “Well, it was an invasion from outer space and I can prove that because we saw all the evidence in the last couple of years.” So we’re being programmed for that to happen.
Ankerberg: Rennie, how does the world’s acceptance of the New Age Movement and the occult aid this political leader, the Antichrist, according to Scripture?
Showers: Well, the Antichrist in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period will go into Jerusalem, take control there, take control of the new temple the Jews will have; take his seat in that temple, Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2, and announce that he is God. As a man he is going to claim Deity for himself. Interestingly, some of the “God is dead” theologians of the 1960s, Thomas Altizer for one, said that it’s not until all of us acclaim ourselves “the great humanity divine” that we’ll have a perfect utopian society. That’s a Protestant theologian saying we’re moving toward deity as human beings. The Roman Catholic theologians have been saying that, some of them, in recent years. The New Age Movement, one of its major premises is that mankind is moving toward divinity or deity. Secular humanists with their tremendous emphasis upon man and the glory of man are emphasizing the same thing. And it’s interesting that all this emphasis on man moving toward deity is converging together around the middle of this century and I really believe it’s Satan’s way of beginning to condition the thinking, particularly of Western man, so that when Satan’s ultimate man, the Antichrist, in the middle of the Tribulation says he’s God, most people in the Western World will have no problem accepting that claim at all because we’re already being fed that line now, that we’re moving toward deity.
McQuaid: Think, also, John, of how much of our religion, if we can use that term in a general way, among Evangelical Christians is moving toward the horizontal rather than the vertical. How few people are really interested in prophecy? How many people are interested in relationships that make us feel better about where we are right now and how we’re going to live successfully in the “here and now.” And I think it amplifies what Rennie just said.
Ankerberg: Jimmy?
DeYoung: In any Christian bookstore you pick up 95% of the books in there are egocentric.
Showers: Self improvement.
DeYoung: In other words, how can I be better? You know, the study of prophecy–and I must compliment you for doing this program because the Book of Revelation Chapter 19, verse 10 says, “The spirit of prophecy is the Person of Jesus Christ.” And as we think of the prophetic scenario unfolding in the days in which we live, we will get away from egocentric activity, even those of us who know and love Jesus as Lord and Savior, and become Christo-centric. That’s what we need to be.
Ankerberg: Wrap up in 30 seconds, for Christians tonight that are watching, the Bible has a lot to say that when you see prophetic events and when you hear the statements that are made in Scripture that we are to do something and to be something, talk to that point.
DeYoung: Number one, we’re to be prepared. Prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Preparation and admitting you’re a sinner, believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, calling upon Him to come into your life and save you. Once you’re prepared, we need to live productively. Titus was told by Paul, “Lay aside ungodliness and worldly lusts. Live soberly, godly and righteously.” How do you lay aside, how do you live? “Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing….” We need to walk and live pure. And thirdly, we need to be productive in these last days before the Rapture takes place. We need to tell our friends of the soon coming of Jesus Christ and help them to be prepared for that soon coming.
Ankerberg: Absolutely. We’ve got Russia, we’ve got Israel and the Middle East, we’ve got the European Union, and we’ve got the Arab Confederacy. The Bible also talks about another group. It talks about the “Kings of the East.” I think these are the Asian countries and we want to talk about them next week and what the Bible has to say about them. I hope that you’ll join us.

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