Events in the Middle East dominate global headlines. There is no doubt these events threaten global peace and warrant our attention. But we must realize that there is an even greater trend we should be watching. In many ways, the Middle East is a sideshow compared to this ominous threat.
We must watch Europe now more than ever. Too many people, particularly in the global news media, are allowing circumstances in the Middle East to distract them from what is stirring in Europe. Are you aware that Europe is beginning to react strongly to events unfolding in the Middle East? It is realizing that it must rise to meet Iran and its radical Islamist henchmen.
Anyone who knows history should see how events in the Middle East will jolt Europe. Already Europe is getting more and more involved in Middle East events. European troops were mobilized in response to the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Most of the troops that moved into Lebanon to keep the peace were European: Italy sent in ground troops, Germany sent in soldiers and a naval force. These two nations largely comprise what has been known, since a.d. 554, as the Holy Roman Empire.
Europe is also beginning to play a more prominent role in the Israel-Palestinian peace process. The Jewish state is increasingly looking to Europe for assistance and direction. EU troops are policing the Gaza-Egypt border. And Israel is growing especially fond of Germany.
The Holy Roman Empire is rising out of the events unfolding in the Middle East!
As Europe steps up its political and military presence in the Middle East, the world celebrates the idea of their bringing peace to the region. People, in the news media and in general, believe European forces will protect Israel and protect Jerusalem. The Trumpet sees things differently. Why? Because the Bible reveals the opposite.
Jerusalem is going to be the main point of conflict between Europe and Iran. Historically, that city has always been the focal point. We must watch Jerusalem!
The Bible tells us that, very soon, the Europeans are going to destroy Jerusalem—if the Jews in Israel don’t listen to God's message. (You can read about these events in my booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.)
The fact that Germany and other European nations want to become more involved in the Middle East, particularly in the Israel-Palestinian peace process, shows a dramatic shift taking place. American influence in the Middle East is shrinking, and European influence is increasing. For some time, Europe has been growing more engaged in Israel’s peace process with the Arabs.
Watch for Europe to become more involved with Israel, especially Jerusalem. This rising Holy Roman Empire has already taken over the Balkans (explained in my free booklet The Rising Beast)—and now it has its steely eyes set on Jerusalem!
Iran and its radical henchmen are bent on thrusting the Middle East into crisis. Jerusalem is surrounded by Islamist enemies. Now Europe, including Germany, is becoming a chief ally of the Jewish state. Germany is becoming a global leader and chief peacekeeper.
We must remember the history of Germany and the rest of Europe. World War ii, which Germany started, was so terrible that Western leaders from both sides of the Atlantic spoke out strongly to assure people Germany would never rise up to strike again. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued this joint statement in 1945: "It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism, and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces, break up for all time the German general staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism."
Have we forgotten that history? Has France forgotten that it was invaded by Germany four times in a hundred years? Have we forgotten that Germany caused World Wars I and II? It appears we have—because the Bible says it is Germany that will start World War III!
Revelation 13 and 17 speak extensively about the beastly power that will rise out of Europe in this end time. We must watch how events in the Middle East facilitate the rise of this European superstate. Iran's pushiness and the rise of Islam are driving Germany, along with the rest of Europe, to embrace its history.
As the world falls apart—as the Middle East becomes crippled with serious crises—as American leadership declines—European leaders are seeing the need for strong action! They are recognizing problems, then looking at their own history and saying, We need to revive our roots.
That is the message Pope John Paul II brought. He worked feverishly to revive the Holy Roman Empire. Early in his pontificate, in Spain, on Nov. 9, 1982, he said, “[I]t can be said that the European identity is not understandable without Christianity and that precisely in Christianity are found those common roots by which the Continent has seen its civilization mature: its culture, its dynamism, its activity, its capacity for constructive expansion in other continents as well; in a word, all that makes up its glory.”
But what exactly are those roots? Charlemagne, the forefather of the Holy Roman Empire, waded through seas of blood to convert people to his empire and to Roman Catholicism. During the Inquisition, over 50 million innocent people were killed in the name of “Christianity!” And you can add many millions more as victims of the Holy Roman Empire. Those “origins” and “roots” and that “history” to which John Paul ii referred caused many millions of people to die!
Pope Benedict has been repeating that same message: Discover your origins, revive your roots. When he visited his native Bavaria in September 2006, according to the Christian Science Monitor, his message was, “Europe needs to rethink the thesis that secularism and economic progress go hand in hand” (Sept. 15, 2006). He is urging Europeans to reject secularism and embrace religion.
And Europeans are listening. Roman Catholicism is taking on a new life in Europe. In Germany, the decline in church attendance has stopped; in one state, the number of young churchgoers is rising.
Politicians are also supporting the pope’s movement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to insert a reference to Europe’s Christian heritage—clearly, a Catholic heritage—into the EU constitution. This is coming from the leader of a nation with more theologians in office than any other Western nation.
At the same time, Muslim boldness is stirring a new strength and vigor within the Vatican. You might remember in 2006 when Pope Benedict xvi made some comments in Germany that confronted the issue of Islam and its violent tendencies. When Muslims responded by becoming violent, many prominent Europeans got behind the pope in support of what he had said. Radical Islam wants a fight, and don’t expect the Vatican to back away!
When the pope begins to confront Islamists, the world should be alarmed. The Vatican knows its next great adversary is Islamism. This Middle Eastern power is rising and becoming a serious threat. But for the Catholic Church to confront Islam is to bring the specter of the Crusades to life once again!
We must understand the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades to understand the Catholic passion for Jerusalem. The Catholics have a long history of spilling blood over Jerusalem.
Notice this prophecy in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
Iran leads this “king of the south” (request our free booklet The King of the South). The Iranians are really pushing these days. That is what recent events in the Middle East have been—the war in Lebanon, the terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula and West Bank. Iran is pushing its weight around! And it will continue to push until somebody stops it.
Somebody will stop it! Note in the above scripture that the “king of the north” responds to this push from the king of the south. Even now we are seeing this king of the north, this European superpower, react to the push from the king of the south. This trend is about to rapidly intensify.
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the word push in Daniel 11:40 means to strike or to push with a horn; it is used of horned animals, or of a victor who prostrates nations before him. It also means to wage war. Push is a violent word.
Notice what the Bible prophesies will be this empire’s first action after it is victorious over the king of the south: “He shall enter also into the glorious land [the Holy Land, Jerusalem], and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (verse 41). The Holy Roman Empire will “enter” into the Holy Land. The Hebrew indicates this will be a peaceful entry—not forced. That means the Jews will probably invite them in—even as they are already doing—but then will suffer a spectacular double-cross!
Just 20 years ago, nobody could have even imagined two world powers coming out of the Middle East and Europe. But everybody should be able to see these two great powers today. Germany is once again becoming the center of a growing European superpower. It is the largest and greatest economy in Europe, and it’s now showing strong signs of emerging from its economic troubles. Germany is the number-one exporter in the world. Watch for it to increasingly dominate European economics from its position at the crossroads of the Continent.
There is no excuse for America and Britain not knowing the truth. God has been sending His message in power for over 70 years! They have rejected it repeatedly. That is why they now must suffer so intensely.
But there is good news! Finally, after God is able to get their attention, our peoples will become teachable. God promises to lead them to peace, full joy and abundance. •
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