Return of The Old World Order
During the cold war, history seemed stuck in a time warp, as the U.S. and Soviet Russia glared at each other over a concrete barrier slicing through the German city of Berlin.
History revived on that fateful night, November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Presidents Gorbachev of Russia and Ronald Reagan of America met in December 1989 on the historic old island of Malta to officially announce the end of the cold war.
In a sense, a history which had been held back, delayed for 40 years in the icy freeze of cold war, was suddenly freed to pursue its ongoing course. We had entered a time of “no more delay” in the course of world events (Rev. 10:6; Zeph. 1:14). The history of mankind was about to reach its crashing, globe-shattering climax!
The fall of the Berlin Wall was to herald the dramatic acceleration of a European phenomenon which had been somewhat stultified during the cold war—the revival of European imperialism. Simply put, the resurrection of that old imperial power which has dominated history since 31 b.c., the Roman Empire.
To the keener-eyed observer, images of the old double-headed eagle of the Roman Empire have emerged increasingly over the past decade to replace the Soviet hammer and sickle in Eastern Europe. Throughout European history, the imperial eagle has been employed by its rulers as a symbol of imperial power. What the lion was to Britain, symbolic of the greatest empire in man’s history, the eagle is to Europe, symbol of its historic imperial power. The double-headed eagle, in particular, is deeply symbolic of the eastern and western divisions of the old Roman Empire.
In Daniel 2:28-45 we read of the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted by the prophet Daniel. God revealed to Daniel that the great composite image of which he dreamed was an allegory of the great empires that would prevail through history until the return of Jesus Christ. Bible students know that the two legs of iron depicted by this image (Dan. 2:33) represent the eastern and western divisions of the Roman Empire as it became divided in 330 a.d.
We have written often in the pages of this magazine of the fact that Bible prophecy declares there would be multiple resurrections of the Roman Empire following the fall of the founding empire in 476 a.d. This is depicted in Revelation 17. The final resurrection is prophesied for our day. It is literally rising up on European soil at this very moment.
Forty years ago, Herbert W. Armstrong, that patriarchal apostle of the Philadelphia era of God’s Church (Rev. 3:7-13), published a booklet titled Who Is the Beast? From that very booklet we now quote: “The seventh head with its ten horns…will be, as [Revelation 17] explains, the revival of the beast, the Roman Empire, ‘out of the bottomless pit’ by a ‘United States of Europe,’ or federation of ten European nations centered within the bounds of the old Roman Empire (Rev. 17:12-18). This is actually beginning today!”
What Mr. Armstrong declared in 1960 was “actually beginning,” we can now report, 40 years later, is coming rapidly into its prime!
Note that in Daniel 2:33-34, the two iron legs of this great image depicting the empires of the world terminate in feet of iron and clay. It is the transition of this part of the vision of Daniel from image into reality that we are now seeing month by month taking place before our very eyes! And it is interesting to note the process by which this misty image is merging into startling, present-day reality.
Prior to 1989, the formation of the western leg of the coming European (Roman) empire was well-advanced. Protected by the Atlantic alliance, under the umbrella of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato), the European Union (formerly European Coal and Steel Commission, European Common Market, European Community) was free to develop its foundation. Riding on the coattails of the U.S., post-war Europe rapidly rebuilt under the protection of the Marshall Plan. When the U.S. decided to allow Germany to denazify itself, Deutschland quickly dusted off its closet Nazi bureaucrats, businessmen, technocrats, industrialists and financiers and led the way in erecting a robust West European trading economy.
Berlin became the spy capital of the world. Being thrust up against the Soviet border, it became privy to high intelligence from both superpowers. Germany played its game well, conducting its political affairs with near-impeccable manners for 50 years, but all the time working for the immediate goal of German unification.
In the meantime, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and Italy all forged ahead into boom times economically, riding the wave of post-war reconstruction through the era of heavy industry to that of high technology.
But east of Berlin, European history was going nowhere. The old nation states of the Baltic, Balkan peninsula and Mitteleuropa corridor were stultified under the Soviet Communist boot—that is, until that night those images of unrestrained emotion under the spotlighted cracks in the Berlin Wall were beamed around the world.
The fall of the wall unleashed a flood of nationalism in Eastern Europe, heralding, as it did, the demise of the terribly senile Soviet system.
Poland was the initial wedge, struck by the Vatican hammer, that split the Iron Curtain asunder. Thus it was that the hugely symbolic change made to the Polish flag upon their acquiring separate nationhood in April 1989 stirred the minds of the masses to its east and south.
As the double-headed eagle, so deeply symbolic of that ancient Roman Empire (removed from the Polish flag under Soviet dominance), was now sewn back onto the red and white ensign, Europe knew exactly the message the Poles were conveying—“We’re a sovereign nation again, and we declare our roots in the Holy Roman Empire—we draw our spiritual breath from Rome!” The revival of the double-headed eagle sent messages deep into the heartland of middle Europe concerning its imperial roots. But it was a Polish pope, a crusading knight of the Vatican, who first cried out, “Europe! Find your roots!”
Thus commenced the building of the eastern leg of the imperial image of Europe. Following the Polish example, many Eastern European nations suddenly sprang loose from the Communist yoke and re-established their national independence. Currently the Baltic nation of Estonia, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and four Eastern European countries—Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia—are involved in negotiations with the EU for member status. This first wave is planned to be followed by a second wave of negotiations with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the Slovak Republic. The island of Malta has re-activated its application for EU membership.
Out of this mixture of Baltic, East European and Mediterranean countries will arise the European Union’s eastern leg. This leaves the future of the unstable Balkans, “southeastern Europe,” as it is being termed, undecided as to how it will relate to the rest of Europe as the EU empire consolidates.
One point to note is the intense interest taken in the Balkan region by Germany. The EU’s leading nation not only hosted the recent Kosovo peace process negotiations, it drafted and publicized the resultant agreement, and made sure that they were first in with the idea of mounting a Marshall Plan, not just for Kosovo, but for the whole Balkan Peninsula! Serbia must ultimately be included in this reconstruction process because of its strategic importance in terms of the movement of European goods and services from east to west and to the south.
As the U.S. tires of being the whipping boy for nato’s errors and the impending quagmire that awaits the reconstruction teams in Kosovo, will Kosovo end up as a German protectorate, under the 12-star EU banner? Two things remain sure: Now that the Germans are on the ground in the Balkans, they will not be easily moved out of there; and the longer they stay, the less tolerant they will become of typical Balkan disorder. We believe the Germans are in the Balkans to stay.
When we compare the western leg of emerging imperial Europe (despite its often unstable politics) with its developing eastern counterpart, it looks quite strong. The EU’s eastern leg is building out of a crazy quilt of countries which seemingly would have no hope of ever holding together in union with anyone! This is exactly the state we could anticipate, given the indications of prophecy which colorfully describe the feet upon which imperial Europe will stand—“his feet part of iron and part of clay” (Dan. 2:33). The demise of the Soviet Union has unleashed great nationalistic feelings in those nations. Not only that, the stultified spiritual needs of the people have move them from atheistic communism back to their Catholic and Orthodox roots.
So, east of Austria and to the south, the result of this present state of flux is a hodge-podge of individual nations, each keen to aggressively exert its individual sovereignty, with a mixture of religious loyalties ranging from Roman Catholicism to national Orthodoxy to Eastern Orthodox. How in the world could this diverse mix, this melting pot of nations, reverting back to their 19th century conformations, ever hold together in union? But hold they must.
Bible prophecy indicates that there will be five nations, or groups of nations, to the east and five to the west in this final resurrection of imperial Romish Europe—and the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). This division of nations in imperial Europe is implied by the imagery of Daniel 2:33.
Then in Revelation we read that a very specific power is brought to bear on these ten nations which binds them together for 31/2 years (Rev. 13:5). The glue is religion. This religion gets its power from a being called the dragon (v. 2). The dragon is always identified in scripture as the fallen archangel Lucifer (Isa. 14:12), who turned himself into the arch-rebel, father of all lies, master confuser and destroyer, Satan (Rev. 12:12-13).
The seat of this power is in Rome. Bible students are aware of the connection between Rome and ancient Babylon. Many religious symbols employed within the Vatican are identical to those of the ancient Babylonian and Egyptian pagan religions. They have a common source. It is simply the spiritual power, the seat of power and the great authority of this almost 2,000-year-old church that will bind together for a season the brittle and temporal unity of the ten nations or groups of nations.
The Vatican is now stepping up its program to draw both Lutheran and Anglican wayward daughters back into its fold. Pope John Paul II has broken the ice with the Eastern Orthodox Church by his visit to Romania in June. Although his planned visit to Orthodox Armenia was called off due to his temporary illness, no doubt this will proceed in the near future. Already the Vatican has made overtures as far east as Orthodox Ukraine for a papal visit. This has all happened in the past few months. We are about to see a papal blitzkrieg to the east as the Vatican aggressively seeks to extend its spiritual hegemony to embrace the developing eastern division of this final resurrection of the Roman Empire in Europe.
No Longer a Lone Voice
Once, that patriarchal apostle Herbert Armstrong was a lone voice crying in the wilderness of spiritual confusion, even foreseeing and declaring amid Germany’s crushing defeat in World War II that Germany would rise again to dominate and lead an imperial Europe. Our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, follows in his footsteps.
Yet, in one respect, he is no longer a lone voice. Incredibly, the clearer-thinking analysts are warning that something is rising in Europe which we will all live to regret.
Once there were only a few, such as T.H. Tetens, who wrote The New Germany and the Old Nazis, who saw that Germany was quietly and covertly going about its business of revival into an imperial power. Now more observers see something askew with the uniting Europe. Writers such as Bernard Connolly with The Rotten Heart of Europe, Timothy Garton Ash with In Europe’s Name, John Laughland with his masterful analysis of the undemocratic origins of the European idea, The Tainted Source. Then there is The New Reich by Michael Schmidt, and the warning to the British, Treason at Maastricht by Atkinson and McWhirter. Elder statesmen and women such as Lord Tebbit of Britain and Margaret Thatcher have warned of Germany’s rise to dominance in Europe and its possible consequences. Then there are those who see fascism once again on the rise in Europe—Walter Laqueur’s Fascism, Past, Present, Future, and Fascism—a History by Roger Eatwell.
All of these publications (and there are more coming off the presses each month) have been published within the past ten years and most within the past five. Why? Why now? Well, hindsight is a marvelous teacher. These authors write with a concern about the present situation in Europe with a mind to its past, particularly Germany’s past.
But a prophet writes with a vision of the future. Why do we receive so many letters and calls declaring, “You predicted this and now it’s happened! Why are you in front of the news?” The answer is simple. Our editor in chief has a vision of the future. It is a vision born of the eternal God, the perfect visionary. A vision canonized in Scripture over millennia of time and now opened up to minds led by the power of God’s Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:13) to comprehend God’s end-time prophecies.
You need that vision. Without it, the dramatic realignment of nations, as they juggle themselves back into an “old world order” configuration one more time, will make no sense.
But with that vision, you will have the peace of mind which comes from knowing and understanding how the past relates to the present and how the present relates to the glorious future which God holds out, ultimately, to all mankind.
But first comes the pain.
Imperial Germany, inspired by an imperialistic Vatican, covertly redeveloping and resurrecting that old Roman Empire, is still concealed in its sheep’s “peacemaker” clothing.
“Fascism is on the march again. Its style may at times be different, but the ideological core remains the same—the attempt to create a holistic-national radical Third Way” (Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History). But this time, fascism does not dress in brown shirts or in S.S. black, nor march in jack boots. No, the real fascists—as distinct from the young neo-fascists of shaven-haired, drunken loutishness, wear clothes of a different kind. “Beware of men—and women—wearing smart Italian-cut suits: the color is now grey, the material is cut to fit the times, but the aim is still power, and the fantasy is cultural rebirth” (ibid.).
Yes! The old Roman Empire is about to be reborn one more time. Its roots go deep. Its culture is founded upon a mystery religion (Rev. 17:5).
Not for nothing did 1000 senior members of the ancient Order of the Knights of Malta make a triumphant return to that Mediterranean island last year, 200 years after expulsion by Napoleon. This powerful, wealthy and secretive Roman Catholic body traces its origins back to the crusades. The order has just signed a 99-year lease on Fort St. Angelo, the strategic and heavily fortified outpost from which the Knights of Malta repelled the Muslim Turks in 1565.
This move by a crusading Catholic order is deeply symbolic. Particularly so when the words of the grand-chancellor of this 12,000-strong order are considered. This order, which issues its own stamps and passports, has its own diplomatic service and permanent observer status at the United Nations, sees itself resurrected in its former crusading glory. As their grand-master declared, the old Fort St. Angelo at Valletta, staging point for ancient Catholic crusades, will now become “a spiritual center where the future leadership cadres of the order will be trained…. We are launching a new kind of crusade” (International Herald Tribune).
This island was a staging point for the great Catholic crusades when they spilled so much blood in an effort to capture Jerusalem for Rome. There is deep symbolism here.
The pope has declared the year 2000 a jubilee year—a great year of crusade for the Catholic Church.
You need to realize that there is a great crusade being mounted by the Vatican to draw its wayward Protestant and Orthodox daughters back into the Catholic fold. Activities planned by the pope for the year 2000 will represent his most powerful efforts yet to crusade for universal acceptance of the Catholic religion. If you really see this then you need to see that countering this great crusade is the great ongoing crusade of God’s own Church. Mr. Flurry recently declared that the work of the Philadelphia Church of God is a “great international crusade.” This is Jesus Christ’s own crusade!
The crusade of the great whorish church, further described in Revelation 17, is destined to reach its apex in a 42-month period of great religious dominance (Rev. 13:5) over a great multitude of peoples and nations speaking many languages (Rev. 17:15). Thank God it is so short-lived! It has a clearly defined, short span of 31/2 years of global religious dominance. But what great havoc it wreaks in that short period of time (Rev. 13:5-7; 17:6).
The good news in all of this is that Jesus Christ’s own crusade for the salvation of all, for the establishment of true and lasting peace on earth, is not limited by time—it goes on forever!
As world events rapidly gear toward the emergence of the three major power blocs that will dominate international relations as this age draws to a close—the Catholic king of the north, the Islamic king of the south, and the eastern hordes—Jesus Christ is powerfully growing His crusade! It’s a crusade for your very eternal life! It’s a crusade for your protection from the horrifying events which will crash in on mankind at the true “end of history”—the end of this age of man’s rebellion and the establishment of God’s government of peace forever (Isa. 9:6-7).
These impending major events now shaping up on the world scene will wreak the greatest havoc imaginable upon the 6 billion people who populate this planet. You could be saved from that horrific scenario—protected in a place of safety, promised by Almighty God to those who will just turn and repent of sin, believe His prophecies which are sure and true (II Pet. 1:20-21) and come join His crusade in the spirit of Elijah to save mankind from utter destruction (Mal. 4:5-6).
Is God calling you to man the breach caused by the failure of so many of His servants in this age? (II Thes. 2:3).
Are you one whom He is calling to have a part in the salvation of multiple hundreds of thousands in that great harvest of which He speaks, just ahead of us? “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:9-10, 17).
Truly the harvest of this great international crusade of Jesus Christ is great, but the laborers who work daily, continually, to support that crusade of warning to the world are so few (Luke 10:2). If God is opening up your mind to understand His plan for the salvation of all mankind, you need to act! God holds us accountable for the precious knowledge of truth that He reveals to us by the power of His Holy Spirit. We are accountable to act on it (Rom. 2:13; James 2:17-26). Remember, this is a time of no more delay! Christ is no more tarrying in His Work—this is no time to draw back! “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:37-38).
Come now and join us in the greatest of all crusades! Reap the blessings of real abundant living in Christ’s service. Come now and fulfill your incredible human potential and work for the establishment of the only true and everlasting empire—God’s globe-girdling Kingdom to come on earth—and gain your own God-given crown!
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away” (I Pet. 5:4).