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Will Europe come together into a super state, which will take over world

leadership from the USA and mediate peace in the Middle East? Is Israel

moving towards a devastating war with the Arab world or will a statesman

emerge who will establish a peace settlement which will offer apparent peace

and safety, not just to the Middle East but to the whole world? Are these

events the result of random chance happenings, or the fulfilment of

prophecies written centuries ago in the Bible? In this article we will look

at some startling things happening right now in the world and then draw some

conclusions.

 

Europe

 

After the second world war Germany and much of Europe lay in ruins. The

United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the dominant super powers,

effectively dividing Europe between them in terms of influence. Today the

Soviet Union is no more and although America remains the most powerful

nation on earth at the moment, there are those in Europe, Tony Blair amongst

them, who see Europe as the next super power. From the small beginnings of

the European Coal and Steel Community in 1956, the European Union already

has most of the trappings of a super state with ever more power being

centralised in its institutions.

 

Now the German Chancellor, Gerhard Shroeder has proposed a new blueprint for

the future of the 15-nation European Union. If it succeeds, the German plan

will produce a single elected president for a Europe of over 500 million

people, with a combined GDP greater than that of the United States, with its

budget controlled by a multi-national elected parliament. The EU is already

equipped with a single currency, devising a common foreign and security

policy and busily recruiting its own military arm, a 60,000-strong Rapid

Reaction Force. With the potential of being backed by the nuclear arsenals

of Britain and France it is becoming a power in its own right, no longer

subservient to the US. Poised for a massive burst of enlargement to become a

27-nation grouping over the next decade, the EU is wrestling with the need

for more streamlined decision-making, as Euro-enthusiasts demand a unified

federal United States of Europe with an elected leader or President.

 

At the same time the globalisation process is forcing other regions of the

world to integrate. While anarchists rage in the streets against the

process, it seems to be unstoppable. North and South America are coming

closer together in the NAFTA free trade zone, planned to cover 800 million

people by 2005. Some small Central and South American countries are already

switching to a dollar economy. The Arabic News (13/2/01) reported that the

secretary general of the Arab economic unity council, Ahmad Jweili, has said

that the establishment of the Arab Common Market is vital to withstand the

globalisation process. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) is in the

process of creating an African Union led by a supreme organ made up of heads

of state which will also have an executive council on which ministers will

sit. Following a model loosely based on the European Union, the African

Union will have a parliament, a central bank, a monetary fund and a court of

justice. Reversing the process which began with the break up of the Soviet

Union, the nations, which established their independence after Communism,

are now coming together again in a union led by Russia.

 

As these blocs of nations come together they all have problem areas on their

doorsteps to deal with - wars in the Balkans and central Africa, drug barons

and anarchy in Colombia, Islamic militants in central Asia. On a global

scale the biggest potential problem is the Middle East conflict, which

inflames religious passions and threatens the world economic system. This

leads in to the next item in our study.

 

Israel

 

After the second world war the Jewish people were also decimated, with one

third of world Jewry annihilated in Nazi death camps. Yet out of the horror

of the Holocaust there emerged the State of Israel, brought into being by a

resolution of the UN. Israel successfully defended itself against the

repeated attempts of the nations surrounding it to wipe it out.

 

Today Israel has become in many ways a strong nation, absorbing immigrants

from around the world, bringing agriculture and high tech industry to what

was previously a backward and neglected corner of the world. Above all

Israel has built up one of the strongest armies in the world backed by the

latest high tech surveillance equipment and weaponry. This is a major factor

in holding back the desire of many hostile nations in the region to attack

the Jewish state.

 

At the same time Israel remains very vulnerable, threatened by terrorism and

susceptible to pressure from the rest of the world to make concessions to

Palestinian demands in return for the promise of peace. The Oslo Accords in

September 1993 aimed to resolve the issues between Israel and the

Palestinians in a comprehensive peace treaty to be completed by September

2000, 7 years later. Instead of a peace treaty the process began to unravel

in September 2000 as the Palestinians rejected Barak's offer of a state on

most of the West Bank and Gaza with part of Jerusalem under their control

and unleashed the Al Quds Intifada. As a result dovish Prime Minister Barak

was replaced by hawkish Ariel Sharon. Most Israelis have lost faith in

Arafat and the Palestinian Authority as a genuine partners for peace and

most Palestinians consider Sharon an enemy with whom they can not do

business.

 

Yet the peace process is not altogether dead. Sharon has appointed Shimon

Peres, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords as his deputy Prime

Minister and Foreign Minister. Peres has recently been holding talks with

Egyptian and Jordanian ministers in peace talks aimed to stop the current

round of violence. Nabil Shaath, Palestinian international cooperation

minister said that a recently devised Egyptian-Jordanian Middle East peace

plan could succeed because it was far-reaching and more and more European

countries were supporting it.

 

Europe and Middle East peace

 

The general view up to now is that the Americans are the key to Middle East

peace and that Europe has only a supporting role to play. That appears to be

changing. In February Spanish Prime Minister Aznar met Egyptian President

Mubarak. Mubarak said he hoped the European Union would become more actively

involved in the Middle East peace process because Arabs believe the United

States is biased towards its ally Israel. Also in February European

Commission President Prodi visited Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and

pledged, 'We shall multiply our efforts for the sake of peace.' EU foreign

policy chief, Javier Solana, made a three day visit to the Middle East at

the end of April to discuss with Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian and

Egyptian authorities 'how the EU can contribute to overcoming the present

crisis and help the resumption of negotiations.'

 

In an interview in the 'Jerusalem Report' (7/5/01) Shimon Peres said that

the European model for coordinating the economies of Europe should be

followed to link the economies of Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan, thereby

bringing them into the globalisation process and bringing forward the peace

process. Peres recommended to European leaders that they 'make the

Middle East an extension of Europe.'

 

Syrian President Assad made a visit to Spain at the beginning of May, also

encouraging a greater European role in the peace process. He joined Spanish

King Juan Carlos and the chairman of the European Commission, Romano Prodi,

to open an exhibition focusing on Spain's Islamic past and promoting better

relations between Spain and the Muslim world.

 

This was followed by the Pope's visit to Damascus, where he said, 'We know

that real peace can only be achieved if there is a new attitude of

understanding and respect between the three Abrahamic religions,

Christianity, Islam and Judaism. … There is a need for a new spirit of

dialogue and cooperation between Christians and Muslims. Together we must

proclaim to the world that the name of God is a name of peace and a summons

to peace.' The Pope's efforts to reconcile Roman Catholicism and Islam,

complement his visit last year to Jerusalem when he called for

reconciliation with Judaism.

 

Assad responded to the Pope with a piece of classic anti-Semitism, accusing

the Israelis of 'trying to kill religions in the same way they betrayed

Jesus Christ, in the same way they tried to kill the prophet Mohammed.' He

went on to say, 'Lands in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine belong to their

original Arab owners … the houses belong to their owners and the refugees

should be able to go back to their places.' Both of these statements show an

extremely hostile position regarding Israel and show how unreal the hope of

Islam making real peace with Israel is. The call for the refugees to return

to their homes in Israel is in effect a call for the destruction of the

Jewish state. If this were to happen Israel would be overwhelmed with

hostile Arabs who would seek to drive out the Jewish population. It is also

worth pointing out that Syrian troops are still occupying Lebanon and that

in the areas now controlled by Arafat, Arab Christians are gradually being

driven out of their homes by Muslims (especially in the Bethlehem area).

 

In fact while talking about reconciling the 'three Abrahamic religions' the

Pope could have said a great deal about the oppression of Christian minority

groups in Islamic countries. But he didn't! Instead at a Mass for about

50,000 people in Damascus he urged Christians, Jews and Muslims in the

Middle East on Sunday to take bold action to bring about peace in their

region and then gave a bland, politically correct but meaningless call to

'build a society marked by fraternity, justice and solidarity, where

everyone's human dignity and fundamental rights are recognized.' The reality

of the Middle East region is that non Muslim communities are victims of

oppression and discrimination and that Islam seeks ever more power to

enforce its will on others (especially on Israel).

 

The Coming Prince

 

In this magazine we have consistently argued that current events are not

just random happenings, but the fulfilment of prophecies written centuries

ago in the Bible moving towards a certain goal, the return of the Messiah

Jesus. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the rebirth of Israel as a

Jewish homeland and the coming together of the European nations into a union

of nations in roughly the area once ruled by the Roman Empire.

 

Bible prophecies indicate that in the days before the Second Coming of Jesus

there will be a return of the scattered Jewish people to the land of Israel

(Ezekiel 36-7) where they will experience a time of trouble (Jeremiah 30-31,

Ezekiel 38-9, Daniel 12) and that the focal point of this trouble will be a

dispute over the status of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12-14, Luke 21). These

prophecies show that the only lasting solution to this problem will be the

return of Jesus who will be recognised as Messiah by the Jewish people

(Zechariah 12.10). Then he will establish his Messianic rule from Jerusalem,

bringing about the promised time of peace and security on the earth (Isaiah

2.1-4, Revelation 20).

 

On the subject of Europe, the book of Daniel prophesies a succession of four

empires, which would oppress Israel, the last of which is 'dreadful and

terrible, exceedingly strong' (Daniel 7.7), describing the ancient Roman

Empire. According to Daniel 7 some form of the Roman Empire would continue

(as has happened through the dominance of Europe by the Roman Catholic

Church) until the second coming of Jesus (Daniel 7.13, Matthew 24.30).

 

Daniel prophesied that in the days immediately preceding the second coming

there would arise from 'this kingdom' (i.e. the Roman Empire), an entity

which would be connected to it, but different from it (Daniel 7.24). Out of

this would come a leader who is described as a 'little horn … speaking

pompous words' (Daniel 7.8), 'a stern faced king who understands sinister

schemes' (Daniel 8.23) and 'the prince who is to come' (Daniel 9.26). This

one will persecute 'the saints of the Most High' (Daniel 7.25) and will also

make some kind of covenant / treaty with many in Israel for 'one week' (7

years), a covenant which he will break half way through (Daniel 9.27).

 

His identity is further revealed in the New Testament book of Revelation

where he is called the beast who persecutes the saints and brings in the

'abomination of desolation' (Daniel 11.31, Matthew 24.15-31, Revelation 13).

The Revelation, written in the days of the persecution of Christianity by

the Roman Empire (Daniel's fourth beast), describes a future beast (the

revived Roman Empire, the EU) whose leader will be given power by 'ten

kings' (Revelation 17.10-13). He will make use of a corrupt religious system

known as 'Mystery Babylon' to gain world power, but will end up double

crossing this religious union and destroying it (Revelation 17.1-6, 16-18).

His rule will be shattered by the Second Coming of Jesus in power and glory

at the end of this age.

 

The key scripture linking Rome and Israel is Daniel 9.26-7: 'And after the

sixty two weeks Messiah shall be cut off but not for himself; (i.e. the

sacrificial death of the Messiah Jesus) and the people of the prince who is

to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (the destruction of

Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 by the Romans, 40 years after the crucifixion

and resurrection of Jesus). The end of it shall be with a flood and till the

end of the war desolations are determined (following the first coming of

Messiah there will be a prolonged period of wars and the desolation of

Jerusalem). Then he (i.e. the prince who is to come) shall confirm a

covenant (peace agreement) with many for one week (7 years - see Genesis

29.27); but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and

offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,

even until the consummation which is determined is poured out on the

desolate.'

 

This prophecy indicates that 'the prince to come', the one who will make the

covenant with Israel will come out of the area of the Roman Empire. The

people who destroyed the Temple were the Romans, so the 'prince to come'

will also have a connection to Rome. He will offer peace but will turn out

to be a deceiver who will break his word to Israel and instead bring

desolation until he meets his appointed end at the return of the Messiah.

 

There is a strong emphasis on treachery in the prophecies, which surround

the last days. 'The treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously'

(Isaiah 24.16). Concerning the rise of the 'prince to come' Daniel says that

'he shall act deceitfully' and 'he shall enter peaceably' even though his

real intention is to invade and plunder (Daniel 11.23-4). Leaders of Israel

will make a 'covenant with death' with him and will eventually discover the

mistake they have made: 'For we have made lies our refuge and under

falsehood we have covered ourselves' (Isaiah 28.14-15).

 

All of this ties up very much with what we see taking place before us. On

this basis we expect to see the following trends and events in the coming days.

 

The process of globalisation will increase with Europe leading the way to an

integrated world system of blocs of nations (probably 10 in all - see Daniel

7.24, Revelation 17.12-13).

 

Shroeder's plan for an elected President will come to pass and lead to the

emergence of a world leader from Europe, who will appear to be a man of

peace, but will turn out to be the Man of Sin (2 Thessalonians 2).

Whether for external or internal reasons America will become less involved

with the Middle East peace process. Its place will be taken by the European

Union, which will see the Arab-Israeli conflict as a vital issue on its

doorstep and seek to resolve it.

 

Religious forces will play a major role in bringing about the globalisation

process and will work for an apparent reconciliation between Christianity,

Islam and Judaism. This will also be a major factor in the false peace in

the Middle East. This global religious system will persecute true followers

of Jesus (Daniel 7, Revelation 17).

 

Jesus will return in power and glory to sort out the mess human governments

and religions have made of the world God gave us to look after.

Then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of

his Messiah and he shall reign for ever and ever. Hallelujah.

Europe, Israel and the prince to come

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