Global Tensions in Light of Biblical Prophecy – Program 8
| September 14, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1999|
|Are those prophecies being fulfilled today by the emergence of the European Union?|
Are preparations being made in Israel to rebuild the Jewish Temple?
- Ankerberg: Today on The John Ankerberg Show, we will examine “Global Tensions in Light of Biblical Prophecy” with my guests: international journalist Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, presently living and reporting from Jerusalem, Israel; Dr. Renald Showers, Professor of Biblical Prophecy; and Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Director of Friends of Israel and an expert on the issues dividing Islam, Israel, and the Western World. Today’s topic: “Is the emergence of the European Union the predicted revived Roman Empire?” How do these events tie into other future events the Bible says will come about? Where do the Scriptures teach that a bloc of nations will unite in the future along the geographical lines of the old Roman Empire? Are those prophecies being fulfilled today by the emergence of the European Union? We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Dr. Showers, I want to come to you tonight and ask you a question, and that is, the Bible talks not only about global events that are going to take place in terms of Russia, Israel; but it talks about this power bloc of countries, the European confederacy. Some call it the revival of the old Roman Empire, alright? Would you show us from Scripture where you find that and what is going to take place with this unified confederacy of nations that are going to be formed in Europe?
- Showers: One of the most significant passages of the Word of God related to that, John, is in Daniel 7 where God, some 2500 years ago, gave to the Hebrew prophet Daniel a prophetic dream. And God was mapping out ahead of time the whole future progression of Gentile world power and dominion from Daniel’s day when Babylon was a great world power, right up to the second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, back to planet earth.
- God portrayed four wild animals coming out of the storm tossed sea. And seas, when used symbolically in the Bible, symbolized the world of nations, primarily Gentile nations. The first one was a winged lion. That represented Babylon which was the power in Daniel’s day. The next one was a large lopsided bear. That symbolized Medo-Persia that eventually conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. The third one was a four-headed, four-winged leopard, which symbolized ahead of time the Grecian kingdom that conquered Medo-Persia by 331 B.C. And then the fourth beast was a non-descript beast. It was so powerful and overwhelmingly destruction, there was no living animal upon the face of the earth that would be an appropriate representation of this fourth kingdom. That represented the Roman kingdom which conquered the Grecian kingdom by 146 B.C.
- Daniel watched that fourth beast and he noted it had 10 horns upon its head and he indicated later on in that chapter he was curious. He wanted to know more about those ten horns. There was an interpreting angel that God sent together with that dream to Daniel. And the interpreting angel, in verse 23, said to Daniel, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth which shall be different from all kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth and shall tread it down and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise”—future tense.
- That language implied that the Roman Empire kingdom would go through at least two stages of history. One would be the beastly conquering stage with overwhelming destructive power. That was certainly true of the ancient Roman Empire. The western half of that ancient Roman Empire lasted for almost 1,000 years. But then there would be a second stage. The ten-king stage. The implication is that sometime in the future, the Roman Empire would consist of ten divisions with ten equal co-rulers ruling those ten divisions at the same time; basically, a federation of divisions with ten co-rulers at the same time.
- If you really study the history of the ancient Roman Empire, never did the ancient Roman Empire consist of ten divisions with ten equal co-rulers at the same time. And because it was never true of Rome in the past, we’re forced to conclude that form of the Roman Empire has not been on the face of the earth yet, but it will be here sometime in the future beyond the time we’re living now.
- As you know, the Western half of the ancient Roman Empire with its capital city of Rome fell to barbarian tribes in 476 A.D. Ever since that time, key Western European leaders have had the dream of someday reviving the Roman Empire. And you have the man who was the great king of the Franks, Charlemagne. People thought he was going to revive the Roman Empire. In fact, on Christmas Day, 800 A.D., the pope crowned him Emperor of the Romans.
- Then, in the next century, a German ruler, Otto the 1st, founded what he called, “The Holy Roman Empire.” That lasted in name from 932 until 1806 when Napoleon crushed it. Napoleon dreamed of reviving the Roman Empire. In fact, when he was crowned emperor, he put the gold wreath of leaves the Roman emperors wore upon his head and he made the statement, “I am a Roman emperor in the best line of the Caesars.” But then his dream was crushed when he was defeated at Waterloo.
- Bismarck of Germany, after he conquered France, announced that the foundation of a new empire and he appointed Wilhelm the First the ruler of that. He gave Wilhelm the title “Kaiser,” which was the German word for Caesar. They thought they were going to revive the Roman Empire but then they were defeated by Allied Forces and the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Between World War I and World War II Western leaders had the dream of reviving it. Even Winston Churchill had that dream. In February of 1930, he published an article in the Saturday Evening Post magazine here in the United States. The title of the article was, “The United States of Europe.” And Winston Churchill advocated that the nations of Western Europe should form a federation together for the sake of influence in the world and mutual peace among themselves, a federation that, he said, could be called, “The United States of Europe.”
- And on it went. And even after World War II, you have Western European leaders holding that dream. The question is, Is there a significant prospect looming on the horizon right now in Europe that can fulfill the prophecy God gave to Daniel in Daniel 7 and also the dream that Western European leaders have had of reviving that Roman Empire?
- Well, on March 25, 1957, leaders of six Western European nations gathered on the Palatine Hill in the City of Rome and founded what we’ve come to know during our lifetime as the Common Market, now called the European Union. When they started that, key Western European leaders expressed the hope that eventually this economic system would develop into a federation that could be called “The United States of Europe.” And it looks as if that’s the direction the European Union is heading right now.
- Early in this decade there was a secular documentary published all across the nation of Canada on the direction that Europe is heading with what we now know as the European Union. They entitled that documentary, “Birth of a Superstate.” They went to Western Europe. They interviewed politicians, historians, and economists of the member nations of the European Union on what they believed was going to develop out of the European Union. Fascinating. One of those Western European leaders said this: “A new empire is taking shape.”
- Another Western European leader said, “The world will never be the same.”
- Another one said, “This is the beginning of a whole new epoch of world history.”
- And the documentary concluded that if this Union is established the why they are planning it to be established, as you had indicated earlier, that Europe, through the European Union, could become the greatest economic power in all the history of the world, even greater than the economic power of the United States right now. And they also concluded that Europe, as a result of the European Union, will be the superstate of the 21st Century that will challenge the rest of the world. They will also develop great military power and influence in the world as well.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, the New York Times said, “When Western Europe became a single economic market, it linked 345 million people, at that time in 12 nations, limiting tariffs and customs barriers.” People said the gross domestic product of these countries—now we’re up to 18 of them—is going to far surpass that of the United States. They’re saying that for the next hundred years, the standard currency in the world is going to be the Euro, not the American dollar.
- Alright, we’re going to have an economic bloc here that’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. But I want to go further than that. The Bible says that out of this confederacy, this strong bloc of nations that are going to be the money wielders, if you want, the power brokers in the world, the Bible is saying there’s going to be a political genius, a leader that’s going to come out of there, that’s going to do horrible things in the world. Tell us about it. Describe this. What does the Bible say?
- DeYoung: Well, you know, the Euro Dollar is that which is going to help gel the European economic community. And then once that is established, you move to a political apparatus and a military United States of Europe. When you have that, then this, according to the book of Daniel chapter 7, this “little horn” comes out among the ten horns. The “little horn,” the Antichrist, this world leader. He comes on the scene.
- Well, we’re seeing everything gelling. We’re seeing the revived Roman Empire or at least the infrastructure for it in place as we sit here during this television program. And we see everything ready for the Antichrist to come on the scene. Deception on every hand. Jesus said on the Mount of Olives, “I’ll tell you what it’s going to be like at the time of the end. Deception will run rampant. In fact,” He said, “signs, wonders, and miracles will usher in this world ruler.” We see a proliferation of signs, wonders, and miracles. In Matthew 24 Jesus said it on the Mount of Olives. In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul said it to the people of Thessalonica. In Revelation chapters 13 and 16, John the Apostle told those who would read Revelation that at the time when you see signs, wonders, and miracles prevalent….”
- I didn’t say that God can’t still perform miracles. God is Sovereign and He can do whatever He wants to. But the Bible tells us Satan can perform miracles and he’s going to use these signs, wonders, and miracles to set the scene for this one world ruler to come out of the revived Roman Empire and establish a relationship with the Jewish people, albeit a pseudo-relationship which will ultimately bring him to his destruction.
- Ankerberg: Well, I can hear people talking, Rennie, and they’re saying, “Hey, you guys are talking about the European Union like it is that; and, hey, they’ve got 18 countries involved in there, and doesn’t the Bible talk about ten?” What’s happening here?
- Showers: John, it says the number ten both in Daniel 7 and also Revelation 17. But here’s an interesting thing. In 1989, in one of the October issues of Forbes magazine, a secular business magazine here in America, there was a two-page advertisement in there by a German banking firm. And they were talking about the direction that Europe is heading with this common economic system. And what they said was this. That once the system is fully operational, they are going to do away with nation states and they’re going to reorganize a Europe in that system into regions rather than nations. And so in light of that, I’m prone to think the number ten in Daniel 7 and Revelation 17 is not a reference to nations, it’s a reference to ten regions that will develop there eventually through that particular system.
- Ankerberg: Elwood, you’ve been with the leadership in Israel recently, and right now they are looking toward the United States for support and to kind of protect them in world politics. How is this going to switch over to the European confederacy? Why would that happen? How will that link-up be made, in your estimation, between them and Israel?
- McQuaid: Yes, well, one of the things we’re seeing now is an erosion of will, if you want to put it that way, in the United States; our leadership particularly. We see what’s gone on in the Iraqi situation. We have mobilized our forces. We have spent billions upon billions of dollars to get those people in place because we said we were going to bring Saddam Hussein to heel and do whatever it took militarily. At one junction we said, “No more diplomacy! Now is the time to strike!” Both times we have backed off.
- What we really have done in both of those instances recently is hand off to the United Nations; first to Kofi Annan who went to Saddam Hussein, the biggest terrorist in the world, and said, “I’ll promise him anything he asks for to get the United States to back off.” That does two things: that erodes the morale of our people who defend this country; it makes a tyrant like Saddam Hussein look like a king among his own people. He has more prestige, more power now because he has backed the United States down over and over again.
- Now, when this Euro Dollar comes into play, our economic clout is going to deteriorate, I believe, to the point where the United States is going to have to make a decision. Look, are we going to go it alone or are we going to get in on this through agreements and make the best deal we can? When we look at “lifestyle lying” now in the United States that has been sanctified in the highest places of the land, we recognize the fact that a society that is not based on truth and the rule of law will not long survive.
- So we have some very dangerous warning signs that are right before us today that say the United States is diminishing in power; it’s diminishing in will; it’s diminishing in its economic security. And what we’re living now by, frankly, is the idea that anything goes in America as long as the money is right. Well, when the money is no longer right, I see very serious problems for us. And that Europe coming on now is, the balance is going this way.
- Ankerberg: Add to that, Rennie, a little bit in terms of, what’s going to bring the political leader in Europe to protect Israel when actually many of the people in Europe right now could care less about Israel.
- Showers: Well, John, I believe that one of the motivations again will be that Europe depends on oil from the Middle East and Western Europe is going to want to have that pipeline open continuously, because with a mechanized society, it can’t survive without that. I really believe that Antichrist will also notice the strategic location of Israel there in the Middle East. You know, the ancient world called that land “the navel of the earth,” the center of the earth. It was no mistake that God planted that nation there and it is no mistake He is going to have it there as the political and religious center of the world in the future Millennium. Israel, that land, is in the most strategic geographical location on the face of the earth. It’s the crossroads of three of the world’s great continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. And Antichrist, as a very brilliant and intelligent man, will see the strategic value of having an alliance with that land and eventually taking control of it and setting up his headquarters there. So I think for economic reasons with oil, etc., plus the other resources that are there, plus also just the strategic geographical significance of that location of the earth is going to motivate him to want to have a tie-in and even control there.
- Ankerberg: Yes, Jimmy, in light of what he’s saying, you were telling me something about Israel and oil that was absolutely fascinating. Would you share that with us?
- DeYoung: Well, the fact is that there has been a recent discovery at the southern end of the Dead Sea where they have been able to dig down far enough to realize the world’s greatest potential oil—by the way, “potential,” understand what I said—oil deposit in all of history is there. It’s called “deep stick oil.” It’s the bottom of the barrel. It’s the very best there is. But let me just say something. Now what I said was at the very southern end of the Dead Sea. That’s the lowest spot on the face of the earth. The Dead Sea is 1300 feet below sea level. Here you have Iraq, you have Iran, you have Saudi Arabia, all these oil producing countries, and if you take a soda and stick a straw in it from the top and start sucking from the bottom, the oil over here starts…. You get the point. When they put that oil well in on the southern end of the Dead Sea and they start bringing that oil out and all the oil in the ground in the great oil deposits in these other countries are going to drain right to the bottom of the barrel. And Israel could have the greatest oil producing area in all of history right there at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, in light of what we’ve been talking about, some people that are non-Christians might be listening and say, “What does Jesus Christ have to do with all of these events? Where does He figure in?”
- Showers: According to the Word of God, Jesus Christ is the One who, during the Tribulation Period, will initiate the three series of judgments of God’s wrath upon Satan’s domain here on planet earth which are going to bring awesome, awesome destruction to this earth. Just one of those judgments alone will wipe out one-fourth of the world’s population. And that’s one of the less severe of the judgments that Christ is going to loose upon the earth as He begins to bombard Satan’s domain, tear down his kingdom rule. Then He will come to earth after the Tribulation in His glorious Second Coming and finish the crushing of the forces of Satan.
- By the way, several passages make it very clear that by the end of the Tribulation Period, all the Gentile nations of the world will have their armies there in the land of Israel. We noted earlier that Satan wants them there to try to annihilate Israel before they repent. But they will sweep across that land bringing destruction. Zechariah 14 says they will come up and completely surround the city of Jerusalem, will be in the process of destroying that city systematically when Christ will appear in His glorious Second Coming in the heavens. The one-third remnant of Jewish people that are left, seeing Him, will change their mind with regard to Him, will repent. They will receive Him, put their trust in Him as their Messiah and Savior, and Zechariah 14 says that’s when the Lord will go to battle once Israel repents. He will annihilate those forces and destroy them, then get rid of Satan, bind him, cast him into the abyss for a thousand years. And then Jesus, as the last Adam, will restore God’s theocratic kingdom and as God’s earthly representative will rule the world on behalf of God for one thousand years.
- Interestingly, in light of the biblical prophecies to the effect that all the Gentile nations of the world will have their armies there surrounding Jerusalem at the time of the Second Coming, a totally secular non-government intelligence service, in light of all the trends we’ve been talking about in all these sessions, has drawn this conclusion. This is what’s going to happen. And they say they’re not religious. They’re not looking at the Scriptures for this. They say, “It is therefore on the platform of Palestine and at the gates of Jerusalem that the present epic will face its ultimate drama.” That’s exactly what the Word of God is saying! Because it is going to be on the platform of Palestine and at the gates of Jerusalem that all the armies of the Gentile world will have that city surrounded, systematically destroying it, that’s when God’s Son Jesus Christ will come out of Heaven and that’s when He’s going to decimate those forces. So it will indeed be in that land at the gates of Jerusalem that the present epic will face its ultimate drama.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, how can a person come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
- DeYoung: John, that’s as easy as ABC. Admit that you’re a sinner. I had to one day when I was eleven years old. I admitted that I needed Christ. Then I believed in His death, burial and resurrection and the statement that He made, “I will save you if you will call upon me.” And that’s the third thing I had to do: Call upon Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life. You can do it. It’s as simple as A – admitting that you need Christ; B – believing that He can save you; and C – calling upon Him to do that. And once you know Him, we need to tell the rest of the world before it’s eternally too late for them.