And Then There Were Ten
Read verses 12, 13 and 18 of Revelation chapter 17. This seemingly mysterious prophecy is speaking of a political power to rise in the end time: in Europe, 10 national groupings, under one overarching political leader, inspired by a single spiritual power.
Believe it or not, the euro crisis is stimulating the formation of this very scenario.
As Marko Papic of Stratfor observed, “It is important to understand that the crisis is not fundamentally about Greece or even about the indebtedness of the entire currency bloc. … [T]he real crisis is the more fundamental question of how the European continent is to be ruled in the 21st century” (June 28; emphasis added throughout).
The answer to that question has been embedded in the book of Revelation for almost two millennia.
It is now coming to fruition.
Since the great prophecies of Daniel and the Apostle John were revealed to Herbert Armstrong in the early phase of his ministry, we have understood that a postwar united Germany would emerge over time to lead a federation of European nations, comprising 10 regional national groupings under 10 individual leaders, under the dominating religious hegemony of Rome. That’s how the European Union will be ruled in the 21st century. The question that remains is, just how will that come about?
The Answer May Be Coming Clear
The Trumpet has carefully watched and regularly reported on developments in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Our online archive at theTrumpet.com is filled with articles giving a blow-by-blow description of this emerging geopolitical phenomenon.
Now, the reality of the changing nature of the European Union is starting to be understood by the better observers of the European scene. One of the best, and one we often quote, is Stratfor. Marko Papic’s incisive analysis considers an extremely interesting prospect: that of European nations dividing into separate regional groupings.
European nations face intense economic pressure from the current euro crisis. At the same time, in today’s volatile world they see mounting threats to their own national security. The combination of their perceived need to elevate their defense capacity, along with their constricting capital and resources, is leading these nations to consider more seriously a novel solution: The EU could break up into regional battle groups centered around EU member nations having particular security interests in common.
Like many of the initiatives that EU elites have developed to further their imperialist dream, the battle groups concept has developed over time. Initially put forward at the December 1999 European Council summit in Helsinki and then launched in 2003, the concept entailed setting up rapid response regional battle groups of 1,500 personnel, deployable within 5 to 10 days. Fifteen such groups, both national and multinational, exist today.
The driving force behind the development of these battle groups is the Lisbon Treaty/European constitution. As a January 2010 European Union Security and Defense White Paper makes clear, the Lisbon Treaty demands that all EU countries improve their “military capabilities and put them at the service of the esdp/csdp”—that is, the European Security and Defense Policy (esdp), also known as the Common Security and Defense Policy (cdsp). Though seeds were sown for the creation of regional European battle groups a decade earlier, that treaty provided the impetus for them to evolve into “the creation of sub-regional armed forces” (ibid).
Political tensions within Europe are now accelerating this process. The combined forces of economic and financial crises, progressive invasion by immigrants, the creeping Islamization of European society, perceived security threats to its south resulting from this year’s “Arab Spring”—plus increasing disinterest in European affairs by its traditional military savior, the United States—have all combined to hasten the division of Europe into regional battle groups, enabling better field command and control among nations with common interests to protect.
But this process should not be viewed as the disintegration of the EU. Rather, it is but part of a continuing effort by European military elites who have one goal in mind: “The final goal is to put European armies within a harmonized framework” (ibid). Such a framework will involve what has become known as “networked security.” As the quoted white paper indicates, “EU armed forces in the 21st century should be able to defend EU member states’ interests. They have to be expeditionary and be sustainable, joint and interlocked with civilian crisis management.”
The paper’s authors comment that “To achieve this does not necessarily require significantly more financial resources, but political will.”
Does Europe have that “political will”?
Even a cursory glance at Europe today gives the impression that here is a continent of tremendous potential, of significant economic clout, being the single greatest trading entity in the world. Yet, as the dithering over the euro crisis demonstrates, the EU lacks that strong collective political will to realize the destiny its postwar founding fathers envisaged.
And Yet …
As Marko Papic rightly observed, “This is ultimately the source of the current sovereign debt crisis, the lack of political oversight over economic integration gone wrong. The eurozone’s economic crisis brought this question of Europe’s political fate into focus” (op. cit.).
This is why we at the Trumpet see the eurozone crisis as more of a catalyst to the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation than the opposite.
Papic correctly asserts, “On the security front, we already have our answer: the regionalization of European security organizations. nato has ceased to effectively respond to the national security interests of European states. Germany and France have pursued an accommodationist attitude toward Russia, to the chagrin of the Baltic States and Central Europe. As a response, these Central European states have begun to arrange alternatives.” Note this! “The four Central European states that make up the regional Visegrad Group—Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary—have used the forum as the mold in which to create a Central European battle group. Baltic States, threatened by Russia’s general resurgence, have looked to expand military and security cooperation with the Nordic countries, with Lithuania set to join the Nordic Battlegroup, of which Estonia is already a member. France and the United Kingdom have decided to enhance cooperation with an expansive military agreement at the end of 2010, and London has also expressed an interest in becoming close to the developing Baltic-Nordic cooperative military ventures.
“Regionalization is currently most evident in security matters, but it is only a matter of time before it begins to manifest itself in political and economic matters as well.”
Europe is on course to divide into 10 distinct regional groupings, each under a dominant political leader, yielding their combined economic and military strength to one predominant imperial leader.
This is precisely what biblical prophecy directs us to be watching for within Europe today.
Positioned to Gain Control
The concept of Europe’s security and defense evolving into a strategy entailing a number of regional battle groups under a central command structure is not new. It is embraced and endorsed by the esdp, and enabled by the Lisbon Treaty/EU constitution; it came into being on Jan. 1, 2010. Although it cooperates with nato, the esdp falls under the jurisdiction of the EU. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the EU is empowered to develop a united military force supported by a consolidated European armaments industry.
An interesting development, however, occurred about the time the Lisbon Treaty was ready to pass—one that points to the future of how this military force will be directed.
Before the Lisbon Treaty was ratified, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court determined that, unless a contrary law was enacted first, that treaty would strip the German parliament of its sovereign right to govern the deployment of German military forces. The court quickly acted to ensure that German law would override EU law. It determined that the Bundestag must have ultimate say as to whether the German Army participates in any EU military operation.
Germany is the only EU member nation to act to preserve this right.
The remarkable upshot of this trick is that Germany, alone of all EU member nations, can decide whether or not to support any military initiative put forward by other EU member nations. Since the EU member nations are bound by treaty to come to each other’s defense when faced with a security risk, no EU military action can proceed without the specific consent of the German parliament!
So, the effective deployment of any EU battle group must be ultimately at the behest of Germany!
What to Watch
What should we now watch for as German imperialist elites contemplate their next move?
Marko Papic observed that “Taxation is one of the most basic forms of state sovereignty, and one does not share it with countries that do not share one’s political, economic and security fate. … [T]he interests of the integrating states have to be closely aligned on more than just economic matters” (ibid).
There is an interesting phrase in the prophecy of Daniel that may indicate the prospect of fiscal union of the prophesied northern power (Daniel 11:20). That is certainly something to be watching for in the continuing wake of euro crisis contagion. Greece is the front-runner and test case for EU-German elites in their efforts to enact centralized control over budgetary and taxation matters in EU member states seeking bailouts.
But as Papic mused, “Control over budgets goes to the very heart of sovereignty, and European nations will not give up that control unless they know their security and political interests will be taken seriously by their neighbors. We therefore see Europe evolving into a set of regionalized groupings. … [R]egional organizations of like-minded blocs is the path that seems to be evolving in Europe, especially if Germany decides that its relationship with core eurozone countries and Central Europe is more important than its relationship with the periphery” (ibid).
It’s a feasible argument based on current observations, and certainly something to watch closely. Whether the regionalization of the European Union takes place according to such a pattern and under such conditions is uncertain.
However, one overarching fact remains clear. Bible prophecy foretells that this great northern power will be administered by 10 leaders led in turn by one outstandingly dominant leader, who will bring the combined economic, military and political power of that 10-group combine to the point that it will have devastating effect for a short time on the whole globe. This scenario certainly suggests regional groupings.
The dividing of EU military power into specific regional battle groups to more efficiently and rapidly project EU power beyond the Continent appears to align directly with the prophecies of Revelation 13, 17 and 18, especially when compared with the geopolitical considerations involving the great prophesied northern power in the book of Daniel. This then is also worth watching closely.
Yet, ultimately, current tensions in Europe will soon reach the point that will force the invitation of a prophesied charismatic political and military leader to come to the fore, no doubt with the backing of Europe’s most prominent and traditional spiritual guide, Rome (Daniel 11:21-34).
Until this happens, the degree of union within Europe required to bring this prophesied power to daily headline status will not occur. But it will happen, for the Scriptures cannot be broken! (John 10:35).