Set in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea, near the heart of the world, is strategic Cyprus. Look at a map, and you can see it is a stepping-stone between Europe and the Middle East. It is near Jerusalem, it is near Rome, and it is near Berlin. Understand its proximity to these important cities and to strategic areas, and you begin to understand why Cyprus has played such a crucial role in history.
In 1980, Herbert W. Armstrong visited Cyprus on the invitation of its acting president, Georgios Ladas. He gave Mr. Ladas an important forecast about Europe that would directly affect his nation. To the leader of Cyprus, this forecast was astounding.
He foretold of a modern-day resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This empire, Mr. Armstrong said, would be a superpower that would dominate Europe, the West and other parts of the world. He said it would be ruled by Germany, and that it would come to dominate Cyprus.
Three decades later, this forecast has been largely fulfilled! The European Union is creating structures that are increasingly imperial. It is romanticizing its Holy Roman Empire past. It is dominated by Germany. And a German-led EU dominates Cyprus.
How did this happen? Why is Germany gaining control? How is it building an empire? And why does it want to control this small Mediterranean island?
If you use the same resource Mr. Armstrong used, you can understand.
A Strategic Asset
Cyprus has played a critical role in this region for centuries. During the Crusades, when European warriors descended on the coasts of Israel and Lebanon, at times they relied on Cyprus for a base. In the 19th century, when Britain wanted a naval base to guard its vital trade with India, it used Cyprus as a base. Even in modern times, in 2006 when Germany joined a United Nations naval mission off the coast of Lebanon, it used Cyprus as a base.
Cyprus hosts one of the West’s most sophisticated listening posts and radar stations focused on the Middle East. “It has been joked that ‘a mosquito can’t take off in Tehran without the radar watchers in Cyprus knowing,’” Trumpet contributor James Leigh and Predrag Vukovic wrote in an article for the gloria Center. “Cyprus is also a listening post from which to monitor electronic communication media, very helpful for signals intelligence. With the surveillance technology installed in Cyprus, for decades, Britain has been able to share intelligence data with the United States and now, no doubt, with the EU, as a member state” (Dec. 22, 2011).
The tiny island nation is also significant as a military base. Fighter jets based in Cyprus can cover much of the region without needing to refuel.
This military infrastructure was built mainly by Britain and America. But whoever gains control of Cyprus today can use its assets to better monitor North Africa and the Middle East, including Iran. Cyprus is a tremendous resource to any power seeking to project power into the Middle East.
And Germany has a supreme desire to do just that!
Gaining Control of Cyprus
Germany is not the only nation with its eye on Cyprus. Russia has an acute interest in Syria, which would make Cyprus a useful base. Britain’s bases in Cyprus have been invaluable to America as it has waged wars in the Middle East. Turkey invaded northern Cyprus in 1974; more recently, it has tried to leverage that presence to gain control of the oil and gas in sea surrounding the island.
But Germany has worked through the EU to ensure it dominates Cyprus.
Many European politicians wanted to exclude Cyprus from the European Union until the island was unified (Turkey maintains control over the northern 36 percent). They wanted to use the carrot of EU membership to draw the two sides together. But other leaders were more impatient. In 2004 Cyprus was allowed into the EU, and in 2008 it adopted the euro.
The trouble was, the euro was a trap. It was an unworkable mechanism deliberately designed to provoke a crisis that would enable European leaders to grab more power. Some astute analysts recognized this from the beginning. When the current European economic union was formalized, it became inevitable that countries like Greece and Cyprus would eventually face economic crises. By including Germany, the economic union could establish European-wide interest rates that were much lower in countries like Greece than would otherwise have been possible. Low interest rates encouraged massive borrowing and artificially stimulated a boom. But as with all bubbles, eventually it popped. Southern Europe is still dealing with the aftermath.
In 2013, largely due to fallout from the Greek financial crisis, Cyprus found itself in serious trouble. It needed a loan of €10 billion (us$11 billion at current exchange rates). For a rich nation like the U.S., that may not sound like much. But that was more than one third of the total annual output of Cyprus’s economy—a vast sum.
Cyprus needed help. Germany blocked Russia from getting involved, and stepped in to offer a bailout package—with tough conditions. Cyprus accepted.
Thus, the EU became the de facto ruler of Cyprus. It began telling Cypriots what they could and could not spend their money on. It dictated how to run their tax-collecting systems and demanded changes to Cypriot law. And since Germany is Europe’s largest economy and put up the largest share of the money, Germany became the real power in Cyprus.
To understand the scope of Germany’s power, consider one shocking condition it imposed: Anyone who deposited money in one of Cyprus’s biggest banks would lose any amount that exceeded €100,000.
That may sound like a lot of money. But for a pensioner nearing retirement, that’s a pretty small pension fund. For a business preparing to pay out salaries, having more than that in the bank would hardly be unusual.
The results were devastating. People lost their life’s savings. Families lost houses. Businesses collapsed. This single draconian maneuver sparked a financial crisis—and to this day, Cyprus’s economy is far smaller than it was before.
Cyprus exited the bailout program in 2016, meaning it no longer needs loans from Germany to keep itself afloat. But it is still under German control. Like all the other bailed-out countries, it remains under “enhanced surveillance.” This means that every three months, it must submit a review of its spending plans and its economy to the European Central Bank and European Commission. If these EU entities don’t like Cyprus’s plans, they may impose new “measures”—forcing spending cuts or the sale of government-owned assets.
Under current law, Germany will maintain this authority until 75 percent of the money Cyprus borrowed is paid back. That is not forecast to happen until 2029.
Pushing Out Britain
Britain has two large bases on Cyprus, taking up about 3 percent of the country. Yet the nation really controlling this area has been the United States; those bases have been an invaluable asset in America’s Mideast military campaigns.
Now, however, Britain is leaving the European Union. Why? Because many British recognize that the power rising in Europe is not free and democratic. They know it is a dictatorial, German-led power. Though few see it in these exact terms, the reality is that the old Holy Roman Empire is rising once again.
Justified as it might be, Brexit puts the future of those bases on Cyprus in doubt. I forecast that Britain is going to lose control of those bases.
This means it is only a matter of time before the United States is pushed out as well.
Losing those bases will decrease U.S. intelligence and power in the Middle East enormously. In secret diplomatic cables, America’s embassy in Cyprus wrote that if America lost access to the British bases there and the radar and signal intelligence, it “would pose a threat to our national security interest in the eastern Mediterranean.” I believe this is inevitable.
In America’s and Britain’s absence, Germany and Italy will be able to greatly boost their power in the region.
Brexit gives Germany a chance to take over those British bases. The Brexit withdrawal agreement the EU tried to force on Britain (and which, to this point, Britain has rejected) would have gotten Germany’s foot in the door. Those bases are classified as British Overseas Territory and therefore have never been part of the EU. However, the euro was used as currency on the bases, and they partially participated in the EU Customs Union. The withdrawal agreement would have made these bases part of the Customs Union—keeping them in the union even after Britain left it.
Though the treaty hasn’t been signed, the direction is clear. And though much of Brexit is controversial, these bases are not. Few people in Britain even know about them, let alone care. It’s easy to imagine the nation giving them up to Europe as it leaves.
About a million EU citizens live on Cyprus. Cyprus is a tiny island surrounded by the EU and full of EU citizens. The rising powers in the area are not led by Washington and London, but by Rome and Berlin.
The Holy Roman Empire is gaining control—just as Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied to the acting president of Cyprus 30 years ago!
This is fulfilling a crucial Bible prophecy. When this power is fully formed—and it is very near that right now—this world will be shocked. But the Trumpet will not be shocked! Mr. Armstrong began teaching this more than 80 years ago, and we have consistently taught the same thing since his death in 1986. Over that period, the fulfillment of the Holy Roman Empire has drawn closer and closer.
A Religious Power
Herbert W. Armstrong based his forecasts about a Holy Roman Empire on Bible prophecy. Revelation 17 describes an empire that rises and falls seven times. Across the centuries, there have been six resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. Each has filled Europe with blood. Those six empires have spanned nearly 1,500 years—and the Bible prophesies of one more resurrection.
Each resurrection has been led by a strongman, or series of strongmen. Germany already has a lot of power. But it hasn’t reached its full potential because it lacks that strong leader. And now, European leaders are increasingly talking about Charlemagne—the medieval head of the Holy Roman Empire—as the model they should follow.
It happens that the Bible prophesies of a modern version of Charlemagne—a “king,” or strongman—ruling Europe. Daniel 8:23 says he will rise “in the latter time.” This king has a “fierce countenance” and understands “dark sentences,” which means an evil spirit is working there. He will perpetrate terrible violence: “his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power [it is amplified by satanic power]: and he shall cause fearful destruction [Revised Standard Version] … and by peace shall destroy many” (verses 24-25). Just as the modern Holy Roman Empire was prophesied, so also is this strong leader. This man is coming!
Today Germany has a very weak leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel—yet the Holy Roman Empire is rising even under her rulership! How rapidly will these terrifying events occur when a strong German leader comes to power?
Another critical characteristic of this empire is that is a religious power. Revelation 17 says it is led by a “great whore”—symbolizing a powerful false religion. It conquered to convert people to the empire’s religion, Catholicism. Charlemagne embodied that partnership. He was crowned emperor by the pope on Christmas Day, a.d. 800. He relied heavily on the Catholic Church to administer the empire. Later resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire led crusades to Jerusalem. One of the titles of the crown of Charlemagne is king of Jerusalem—though Charlemagne never went there himself. This empire has always been religious, and has always yearned to conquer Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is one of the holiest sites in Islam. It is also probably the holiest site of the European Union. You will see that more and more as Europe completes its formation into a Holy Roman Empire. It currently has 28 member nations, but to play this part as a religious empire, Bible prophecy says the EU will pare down to a smaller number of core nations bound by religion and led by a single strong leader from Germany.
Previous resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire have launched more than one crusade from Cyprus. That last resurrection of this empire will be led by the Catholic Church, and it will embark on one more crusade. You can see this empire moving toward Jerusalem already in its conquests.
The Germans have been militaristic throughout their history and have started two world wars. More recently, in 1991 Germany defied the rest of the world and recognized an independent Croatia when it broke away from Yugoslavia. At the time, Croatia’s leader was a man who admitted he believed in the Nazi cause from World War ii. This ought to have awakened the world to what was going on in Germany. That move brought its control closer to the Mediterranean and closer to Jerusalem. It also recognized another breakaway nation, Slovenia, which was a Nazi ally during the war. Germany’s recognition of Croatia and Slovenia sparked a civil war between them and Yugoslavia, which had been an enemy of Nazi Germany and an ally of the United States and Britain during World War ii.
The whole Western world—including the U.S., Britain and the rest of Europe—opposed Germany’s decision. Yet Germany made it anyway and threatened other nations with financial pressure and even with breaking up the European Union. So those nations, including the major powers, caved in. Then Germany—America’s World War ii enemy—persuaded the Americans to use their military power to conquer Yugoslavia, their own World War ii ally. In that war, Yugoslavia had been a major help to America in fighting Nazi Germany. But now, it was destroyed and divided up.
As a result, Germany now controls the Balkans. It can access their warm-water ports that lead to the Mediterranean and lead right to Cyprus. (You can read all about this history in my free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.) In the years since, close cooperation has developed between Cyprus and Germany in shipping; many German shipping companies and shipping-management businesses are based in Cyprus.
After about 70 million people died in World War ii, America and Britain promised they would never allow Germany to rise up like that again. Yet a German-led European empire is doing just that.
The history of the Holy Roman Empire and the recent history of the Balkans is repeating itself in Cyprus. And it is all leading that power closer to Jerusalem.
The Future Revolves Around Jerusalem
But the Holy Roman Empire is not the only power with a strong focus on Jerusalem. Daniel 11 prophesies about a “king of the north” and a “king of the south.” Beginning in verse 40, there is clearly an end-time focus (“at the time of the end”)—and it says these two powers will clash spectacularly.
The modern “king of the north” is Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. The modern “king of the south” is Iran and radical Islam. When these two powers war, Germany and the Holy Roman Empire are going to win.
Then, after conquering radical Islam, this European empire will “enter also into the glorious land”—speaking of Jerusalem (verse 41). Europe has had its sights on that city for centuries. It views Cyprus as an important waypoint in the path there.
Other prophecies show this empire seizing Jerusalem will provoke even greater and more terrible bloodshed. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him” (verse 44). North and east of the Holy Roman Empire are Russia and China and their allies. Other prophecies show that Europe and these Asian powers work together for a time, but at this point, Europe begins to fear Asia—as it has in the past. Europe and Asia begin to prepare for war.
Verse 45 states, “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain ….” Europe will gain so much power in the Middle East, and religion will be such an important part of its empire, that it will actually move its headquarters to Jerusalem! This European power will unite its nations and its people in an undemocratic, tyrannical empire dominated by Catholicism. It will claim it is fighting America, Britain, radical Islam and Asia on behalf of Jesus Christ. But it is a force for evil, and soon it will unleash a third world war—far deadlier than any other war in history!
But this power is going to be stopped! By whom? Jesus Christ!
Verse 45 concludes: “yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” The Bible that reveals the Holy Roman Empire and so much more also reveals that the Messiah is coming, and that He will personally stop the evil powers that are wreaking death all over the globe.
This is all explained in my booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last! The book of Daniel is only for this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). It is a prophetic book full of prophecies that have already come to pass in history, and with insights for what is about to happen in our day.
Daniel 8:25 says that this mighty and deadly European leader will finally be destroyed. By whom? “[H]e shall be broken without hand.” That means that the Prince of princes, Jesus Christ, is going to return, and He will destroy the Holy Roman Empire forever!
God revealed the prophecies of the Bible to Herbert W. Armstrong. He used Mr. Armstrong to visit dozens of presidents, prime ministers, legislators and other heads of government, heads of state, including acting President Ladas, as well as hundreds of other leaders in politics, education, culture, finance and business. He worked miracles for Mr. Armstrong to deliver the Bible’s message of warning and of hope. Through Mr. Armstrong, God told the leader of Cyprus that the Holy Roman Empire would return and would dominate Europe. That empire is not fully formed, yet it is already doing just that.
Over 80 years of Mr. Armstrong’s work and our work, we have delivered hundreds of prophecies, and all of them are being fulfilled or have already come to pass! Soon one more is going to come to pass: the coming of the Messiah! He will destroy the Holy Roman Empire forever—along with the powers of Russia and China and all the evil powers of this world. He will bring peace and joy to this world, and even the whole universe, forever and ever and ever! What wonderful news!