A strong leader is prophesied in the Bible to rise in Europe very soon—perhaps even within months. I believe almost certainly that you can identify who this man will be. Only one man appears able to fulfill what the Bible says about this strongman. His name is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
Guttenberg left German politics in 2011 after a plagiarism scandal, and he moved to the United States. But in September 2019, he and his family relocated back to Germany. This move, along with the present state of German politics, may indicate this key Bible prophecy is about to be fulfilled.
Though he hasn’t been in politics for some years now, KT zu Guttenberg is keenly tuned in to world events. He has impressive political, economic and military understanding, and he frequently writes articles and gives interviews for some of America’s and Europe’s biggest news organizations. Guttenberg is a brilliant man in many ways, and for about a decade now I have indicated that he could be the next leader of Germany—and really, of Europe.
Germany is now in political crisis, and the question of national leadership looms large. The task of leading Europe’s strongest nation has always been enormous, but Germany’s current challenges make it even more daunting. Its leaders are being overwhelmed by the refugee crisis, Brexit, Donald Trump’s presidency, China’s rise, and competition and threats from Russia. Added to all these problems, Germany’s economy is bordering on recession. In Germany—and even throughout Europe and beyond—the pressing question is, who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel? Germany needs an experienced and assertive leader. It needs someone special.
The Bible prophesies in vivid detail that such a leader will emerge in the end time. We need to understand this prophecy, because it says that this German strongman will plunge the whole world into a new dark age!
Near the end of World War ii, as a bloodied and exhausted world contemplated the lessons that war taught at such a frightful cost, the Allied leaders agreed that radical steps had to be taken to prevent Germany from ever wreaking such devastation again. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin signed their names to a document that decisively declared: “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world.”
These leaders recognized that Germany has a proclivity to start wars! World Wars i and ii are only the most recent and devastating examples of this reality. (For proof, request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
Sadly, though, that “inflexible purpose” did not last. Today Germany is again a major military power, and is being encouraged to become even greater!
Did you know that Germany today is a leading weapons manufacturer and one of the world’s top five arms exporters? It is even building submarines that can carry nuclear warheads! Israel has six German-built submarines, some of which are believed to carry Popeye Turbo Cruise Missiles that can deliver a nuclear payload. Israel is one of the most advanced nations economically and militarily, and it gets its submarines from Germany.
The nation that started the Second World War has an advanced military industry, one capable of building equipment to silently and stealthily deliver a nuclear attack. What kind of danger is there in that? How many people even realize this?
Some analysts say Germany has neglected its own military. There is some truth to this. Some parts of Germany’s military are tired or underdeveloped. But let’s not forget that this nation possesses incredible industrial might. It is the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter! If Germany simply decided to keep some weapons for itself, with modern technology and its strong industrial base, its military could be expanded and updated swiftly! For now, the nation lacks a leader willing to make this decision. This will change overnight when a strongman gets control! Germany’s transformation under Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, dramatic as it was, will not even compare to what is coming!
As far as we know, Germany does not have its own nuclear bombs. But America stores nuclear weapons there. France has also offered to share its nuclear weapons with Germany. So it is accurate to say that Germany is a nuclear power even now!
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has already played an important role in improving Germany’s military position. He served as Germany’s defense minister from 2009 to 2011 and left a defining mark. He transformed the Bundeswehr from a conscription-based army to an all-professional military. This major change shifted the army’s focus from defending Germany’s borders to fighting in missions abroad. As defense minister, Guttenberg wanted a small, more professional, better-equipped military that could be dispatched anywhere in the world.
Guttenberg also helped change the German public’s perception of the military. He led them to begin viewing their army, not with shame, but as part of Germany’s contribution to the world. He was the first politician to call Germany’s military operation in Afghanistan a war. How many remember today that Guttenberg was one of the key figures behind Germany’s military presence in Afghanistan? He was thinking in terms of offensive warfare. And he accomplished all this under the moderate rule of Chancellor Merkel.
This past August, Guttenberg criticized Chancellor Merkel for neglecting Germany’s military. “I feel that the attention for the Bundeswehr has suffered in the last few years,” he said. He believes Germany’s military isn’t as prepared as it needs to be, and he believes Merkel hasn’t engaged in enough military action. For years he has called for Germany to get involved militarily in Syria, and to this day it has not done so (though recently there is serious discussion about deploying there).
Today, everyone knows Merkel’s time as chancellor is nearing its end. The chancellor is struggling with health problems and has lost credibility and influence within her own government.
Imagine if Guttenberg took charge of Germany. Imagine the changes in Germany’s military—even in Europe’s military!
The Bible prophesies that Germany will emerge in the end time as a global military power. It also says this powerful nation will be led by a unique individual, a strongman. We find this prophecy in the book of Daniel.
For 2,500 years, the book of Daniel has not been understood. That is because it is only for this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). Its meaning has been revealed in our day.
The prophecy about this strongman is in Daniel 8:23-24. First, notice that these verses state explicitly that these events occur in “the latter time.” This will be a time “when the transgressors are come to the full.” Godlessness is rife, modern technology is proliferating immoral filth with malignant efficiency, and people are wallowing in unspeakable evil. Verse 25 says the individual discussed here will “stand up against the Prince of princes”—referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So this is clearly a prophecy for the end time.
Now read about this man in verse 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” This is talking about the coming leader of Germany. We can know this by putting this together with other prophecies. For example, the prophecy in Daniel 11:40-45 says “the king of the north” shall rise “at the time of the end.” This is talking about a German-led European superpower. Isaiah 10:5-19 give a similar prophecy, adding that this leader shall be “the king of Assyria.” The modern Germans are the descendants of ancient Assyria. (For proof, read “The Remarkable Identity of the German People.”)
Daniel 8:23 supplies some key details about this soon-coming German strongman. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament explains that the expression “dark sentences” means riddles, difficult or dark speeches, or sayings, questions or parables. It says it is used “at a higher social level,” and cites a similar word being used in 1 Kings 10:1, where the Queen of Sheba tested Solomon’s reputation for wisdom with “hard questions.” Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews likewise describes “Hiram of Tyre sending Solomon sophisms and enigmatical sayings.” These world leaders brought enigmas to Solomon hoping to learn from his wisdom. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines “dark sentences” as “twisted, involved, subtlety, fraud, enigma.” This strongman grasps things that are obscure, things you can’t understand without explanation or interpretation.
This is revealing insight. The prophesied strongman operates on a high social level; he is capable of understanding and solving complex issues and questions. He is brilliant and sophisticated, and he has intellectual depth and power. The context shows he enjoys notoriety and fame for it.
KT zu Guttenberg fits this description. He served as Germany’s minister of economics and technology, and then as minister of defense. After his resignation, he joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., as a distinguished statesman and served as senior adviser to the European Commission leadership on global Internet freedom. He also sits on a variety of international corporate and nonprofit boards, including the advisory board of Ripple since 2014 and of Lufthansa since 2015. Much of his activity in recent years has revolved around giving strategic advice to politicians and businesses.
Guttenberg is also German nobility, which adds to his prestige and fame. The baron is often invited to speak about geopolitics, emerging financial technologies, trans-Atlantic relations, cyberwarfare, Brexit and other complex subjects. In many of his speeches, which he gives without notes in both English and German, he is comfortable addressing experts in their various fields.
In January 2019, Guttenberg spoke at the annual Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, addressing an audience of experts in financial technologies. There aren’t many politicians capable of delivering expert views about crypto-currencies! What can a former politician teach such a group? The answer is simple: Guttenberg not only understands these important developing technologies, he understands how they connect to politics and international relations. This knowledge gives him rare and powerful insight—insight that many people seek!
The Bible gives us even more clues on what this coming German strongman will be like. “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). This strongman will come to power, likely not by votes from the people, but “by flatteries.” He will somehow manipulate the political system to effectively hijack Germany and, by extension, Europe.
Knowing that such political intrigue will occur makes the bureaucratic turmoil in Berlin important to watch. The government is shaky, the need for strong leadership is clear—but the path to achieve it is unknown. This prophesied leader may well exploit this frustration and confusion by rallying a coalition behind him and vaunting himself to power. This would take a lot of intelligence and calculation; it would require unusual skill to deceive people in high places with flattery. But the prophesied Daniel 8 man will do it magnificently. Adolf Hitler was a man of mental strength, but he was not as adept at deceiving people as this coming strongman will be! This leader will come as an angel of light.
Do we see a German leader who comes even close to having such power over people?
Here are some statements from German news media describing Guttenberg. In 2011, Tagesspiegel referred to him as a “great captivator” and a “man catcher.” Even after Guttenberg’s plagiarism scandal, Chancellor Merkel referred to him as “a magnet who fascinates the people.” In 2016, Die Welt called him a “talented orator who can cast a spell over people.” Such charisma is rare, even among politicians, and it is one of KT zu Guttenberg’s defining traits!
Look at the public resentment and anger in Germany and Europe. The opportunity is growing ripe for someone to take power by flatteries!
God told Daniel that He would reveal what would happen “in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (Daniel 8:19). That “time appointed” is here; Daniel’s prophecies have been revealed!
Verse 23 speaks of this “king of fierce countenance”—then verse 24 says that “his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power ….” This means he has an evil spirit helping him. This man definitely is not receiving this added power from God. Revelation 13:2 says of the empire he commands, that “the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” That’s talking about Satan the devil! And it takes a certain mindset for Satan to be able to use a man in such a way.
Daniel 8:24 continues, “[A]nd he shall destroy wonderfully [it should read mightily], and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” This man will try to destroy even God’s own people!
This man will preside over the final resurrection of a mighty political-military empire that has arisen repeatedly on European soil: the Holy Roman Empire. This is the seventh time over a period of more than 1,500 years that this empire is rising.
Anciently, this prophecy in Daniel 8 was fulfilled in type by a man named Antiochus Epiphanes. This history is recorded in history books such as the book of Maccabees, which says this man entered into Jerusalem: “And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel” (emphasis mine).
That is the way this end-time Antiochus Epiphanes will operate! Like Antiochus anciently, he will come as an angel of light—with charisma, and in love and peace (e.g. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). But he has malignant purpose, and he uses craft and deceit in everything he does. What he says causes nations to be destroyed—and suddenly! His empire will crush many peoples!
The Source of His Power
To understand these prophecies, you must understand Germany’s role in Europe. This nation dominates the Continent today. It is increasing its already formidable economic and military power over other European nations—despite having one of the weakest governments in its history!
When this strongman comes to power, he will lead not only Germany but, in effect, all of Europe. This is what the Bible prophesies: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). This chapter is all about the Holy Roman Empire, especially its seventh and final resurrection.
In the end time, 10 “kings” or “kingdoms” in Europe will give the beast their power. They will get behind and empower this “king of fierce countenance,” and he will lead them in devastating exploits.
The Prophet Habakkuk refers to this power by a name that Bible prophecy uses for the German-led Holy Roman Empire—one of many indications that Germany will be at the vanguard, and a German strongman the spear tip: “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful …. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves …. They shall come all for violence … and they shall gather the captivity as the sand” (Habakkuk 1:6-9).
Verse 11 gives a terrifying detail about the man at the helm of this dreadful force: “Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.” If you look at this man today, you won’t see anything that looks capable of such appalling destruction. But his mind is going to change radically as Satan seizes control.
This prophecy shows that this strongman has a “god”—he will be a very religious man. Not many mainstream politicians in Germany openly talk about their religion. Most try to hide it, because church and state are to be kept separate. Guttenberg doesn’t keep it secret. During his time in government, he made frequent references to Catholic symbols and holidays. His wife gave an interview about the role religion plays in their household and child rearing. In their biography about him, Eckart Lohse and Markus Wehner point to religion as a defining element of Guttenberg’s life and his public service.
After he left office, the baron put a high value on religious observances and defending Christian values. In a 2017 speech in Bavaria he told the audience that if they don’t “recall where we came from, what our history means,” then other cultures will come in and define them. He urged them to remember their history “with its dark and bright sides” and to take a “unapologetic stand for our culture.”
The history he referred to is the history of the Holy Roman Empire! One of Guttenberg’s titles even means “baron of the Holy Roman Empire.”
You need to understand the history of this empire. It has cost the lives of millions of people! To get a true historical perspective, request a free copy of our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.
But notice the last sentence in verse 12 of Habakkuk 1: “O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.” God is correcting the people of America and Britain especially with this empire, because of their sins against Him (for more detail and proof of this statement, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy).
‘Broken Without Hand’
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak …” (Habakkuk 2:3). At the end this vision will speak! God will make it available to millions of people! A loving God always warns and tries to help us understand so we need not experience such terrible suffering. This is especially true of the suffering that will occur just ahead of us—the worst in human history—immediately before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
Even if people don’t repent at this time, there is still great hope. That is because these horrific events are all leading to the best news this world can hear.
You see this in how Daniel’s prophecy about this strongman concludes: “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). This leader is so arrogant and self-willed that he will stand up against Jesus Christ! He and many other leaders in this world will not submit to God when He comes: They think they can conquer God, who is descending in power and glory from the heavens! Blind with hate, they will deploy all their sophisticated technology and modern armaments to fight Him.
They will fail utterly. The European strongman and his empire will be “broken without hand”—broken forever, not by human hands or physical armies, but by the very power of God!
The book of Revelation describes the same end for the beast power: “These [speaking of the 10 European ‘kings’ or ‘kingdoms’] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings …” (Revelation 17:13-14). Christ will ensure that the Holy Roman Empire will never rise again. He will destroy that evil empire and all other empires that fight against Him! (see also Revelation 19:11-21).
Jesus Christ is about to reign forever, bringing peace and joy and happiness to all mankind! Watch vigilantly: The imminent arrival of this prophesied European strongman connects directly to this inspiring, fast-approaching reality!