Germany will dominate Europe. And a fierce king will dominate Germany. From its earliest issues in the early 1990s, the Philadelphia Trumpet has made these forecasts, continuing those made by the Plain Truth from the 1930s to the 1980s. Events you are seeing today in Europe and Germany were prophesied in your Bible! And the identity of this specific king could be connected to the man who made these prophecies: Herbert W. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong traveled the world for years as an ambassador for world peace, meeting hundreds of heads of state, heads of government, legislators, ambassadors, executives and other world leaders. Two leaders he grew to know particularly well were Otto von Habsburg, the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary and a member of the European Parliament, and Franz Josef Strauss, the Bavarian strongman.
“Incidentally, Drs. Habsburg and Strauss are close friends,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in a letter on July 24, 1985, “and for some reason I do not understand—but may be of God’s designing—both are very friendly to me and to Ambassador College” (emphasis mine).
Is it possible that God inspired the relationship between Mr. Armstrong and these two men?
Franz Josef Strauss
After World War ii ended in 1945, Germany was in ruins for the second time in less than 30 years. Herbert W. Armstrong was prophesying that it would rise again and lead a European superpower. At the same time, Franz Josef Strauss was helping to found the Christian Social Union (csu), a predominantly Roman Catholic political party that has ruled the prominent German state of Bavaria almost exclusively ever since. csu’s headquarters is located in Munich in the Franz-Josef-Strauss-Haus.
Strauss led the csu from 1961 and led Bavaria from 1978, holding both offices for the rest of his life. He also held four West German cabinet-level offices: federal minister for special tasks, federal minister for nuclear affairs, federal minister of defense, and federal minister of finance.
He has been described as the father of economic growth in Bavaria, father of the current German military institution, and father of a whole class of strong Bavarian politicians. Today, Bavaria is home not only to many German traditions and the largest number of Catholics in Germany, but also many important corporations: Allianz, Adidas, Audi, bmw, Infineon, Linde, Munich Re, O2, Puma, Schaeffler, Siemens and more than 150 other industries, including aerospace, armaments, automotive, chemical, computer, construction, energy, electronics, media, printing, telecommunications and transport.
A good indication of Strauss’s political legacy came on the 100th anniversary of his birth, when party leaders commemorated the man they called their party’s “patriarch,” “one of the master builders of Germany,” and a “creator of modern Germany.” The current head of the csu and premier of Bavaria had a poster of Strauss on his wall as a young man, and he featured him on billboards in the last csu election campaign.
Strauss was a leader among world leaders. Everybody knew that if he were to become chancellor, he could dramatically increase Germany’s power. In fact, he could increase the power of all of Europe. And he laid out his vision for a greater Europe and a plan for achieving it in The Grand Design: A European Solution to German Reunification.
Strauss ran for chancellor in 1980 and narrowly lost. He died on Oct. 3, 1988, before he could achieve his dream of German and European unification. But the dream did not die. The very next year, the Berlin Wall fell. And on Oct. 3, 1990, East Germany and West Germany reunited. Germany has been growing stronger and stronger ever since. So too has Europe, with the formation of the European Union in 1993, the euro currency in 2002 and a constitution in 2009. Bit by bit, Strauss’s dream of a unified Europe is becoming reality.
Mr. Armstrong thought Strauss could become the strongman of Europe prophesied in Daniel 8:23. On one occasion, when they were dining in Mr. Armstrong’s home in California, he gripped Strauss by both shoulders and gave him a warning.
“Hitler was a great man, but he misused and abused his power,” he said. “You may also receive great power—be very careful you don’t abuse it.”
These men are both gone now. But we still need to learn something crucial from Mr. Armstrong’s identification of Strauss as the potential fierce king of Europe.
Otto von Habsburg
Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius of the House of Habsburg was born in 1912 at an imperial villa in Austria and was baptized by the Catholic prince-archbishop of Vienna. At age 4, his father, Charles i, became emperor of Austria, king of Hungary, king of Croatia and king of Bohemia. (He has been beatified by the Catholic Church as Blessed Karl of Austria.) This made Otto the crown prince of Austria-Hungary.
Two years later, the Austro-Hungarian Empire ended after it lost World War i in 1918. Otto von Habsburg was head of the House of Habsburg, which had ruled the Holy Roman Empire from the 15th to the 19th century, but he never became king or emperor: He gave up the crown for what he saw as a greater European vision. I believe that shows a certain sincerity of heart and character. He went on to become a leader of the Pan-European Union movement and was a member of the European Parliament, representing the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the party of Franz Josef Strauss.
Habsburg was a very religious man, and he tried very hard to get the European Union to reunite into the Holy Roman Empire. He believed, as he once said, “The cross doesn’t need Europe; Europe needs the cross.” He was a devout Catholic, living during the reigns of nine popes and knowing several of them personally. His godfather was Pope Pius xi, and he received a wedding blessing from Pope Pius xii. He was received by the next pope, John xxiii, with whom he discussed Charlemagne and European integration. He had a friendly relationship with Pope John Paul ii, whose birth name was in honor of Habsburg’s father, and was also close with Pope Benedict xvi.
When Otto von Habsburg died in 2011, Europe had much of the political unity he had hoped for, but not the religious unity. Biblical prophecy shows that another man will finish this unification process.
Continuing the Legacy
The man who will unite Europe under his power may be a man who is connected to both Franz Josef Strauss and Otto von Habsburg.
To continue his work after his death, Strauss handpicked a fellow Bavarian and csu member: his general secretary and campaign manager, Edmund Stoiber. Stoiber also knew Otto von Habsburg. Stoiber became premier of Bavaria on Jan. 16, 1999, exactly 13 years after Mr. Armstrong died. (Request your free copy of January 16—God’s Miracle Day for more about this particular date.) In 2002, he beat Angela Merkel to become the cdu-csu candidate for the chancellorship of Germany, but he narrowly lost to Gerhard Schröder. He retired from politics in 2007, but has since mentored other Bavarian politicians.
One of these is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
Strauss and Stoiber were both powerful men, but neither possessed something that Guttenberg has: the striking family title reichsfreiherr—baron of the Holy Roman Empire. His family received this title from the Habsburg family, and Guttenberg himself is a descendant of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Leopold ii.
Guttenberg combines the political heritage of Strauss with the noble ancestry of the Habsburgs. And like Strauss and the Habsburgs, he shares a common dream of a united Catholic Europe.
For this and other reasons, I believe it will likely be Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg who will turn the dream of Strauss and Habsburg and others into a reality, and reality into a fearsome nightmare. We do not know for sure, but Guttenberg’s political and royal heritage is significant.
Bible prophecy states that the Germans will turn to a strongman, that this man will be Roman Catholic, and that he will unite the leaders of Europe under him into a formidable and beastly empire. Prophecies in Isaiah 10, Daniel 8, Habakkuk 1, Revelation 17 and other passages state that a German leader will arise to lead a European conglomerate. God revealed this prophecy to Mr. Armstrong, who preached it for decades. The actual identity of this man is not specifically prophesied, but the relationships Mr. Armstrong formed could be a strong indicator. It may be of God’s designing.