Two regions catapulted their way into our lives in 2011. The average man on the street suddenly became very aware—and very concerned—about such things as Arab balances of power, European bond issues and what side of the bed the Germans woke up on. In the European Union, Britain went from a counterweight to deadweight.
“Twenty years after the Maastricht Treaty, which was designed not just to integrate Europe but to contain the might of a united Germany, Berlin—and Mrs. Merkel—had effectively united Europe under its control, with Britain all but shut out.”
That remarkable quote recently appeared in the New York Times. It is doubly electrifying because it is something Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied of way back in 1956: “Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”
Whether you read the Times in December or the Plain Truth 56 years ago, you are living in a new reality. Britain is on the fast track out of the EU, and Germany dominates Europe.
Meanwhile, the Iranians are intensifying their foreign-policy push against the Europeans. Some Middle Eastern states are tightening their orbits around Iran. But Germany and other key EU nations are taking a rapidly hardening stand. Even some key Gulf states are aligning with Europe, and especially Berlin.
Watch closely what happens next! These two regions are going to remain in the news more than all others. Many headlines will report how relations between the two are racing toward a clash.
Within this volatile mix, two high-profile personalities will gain influence and an unbelievable amount of power. Both of these men are from Europe.
The Man in Germany
In this crucial moment, a man we have been watching for several years is carefully preparing for his return to politics: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, baron of the Holy Roman Empire.
Germany’s most popular politician, Guttenberg resigned as defense minister in March of last year over a plagiarism scandal. Already, though, that embarrassment seems to be a distant memory.
In late 2011, Guttenberg made some negative observations on Germany’s political leadership, including his own party, the Christian Social Union. csu President Horst Seehofer responded by suggesting Guttenberg might not be considered a political prospect until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest. Just a few weeks later, Seehofer said he intended to invite the baron back to active party involvement to boost the csu’s waning support ahead of federal elections in 2013. He even suggested the prospect of him being given a ministerial post.
What happened to create such urgency for Guttenberg to be not only allowed but invited back to German politics?
Perhaps the csu’s 180-degree pirouette was prompted by Guttenberg suggesting he was interested in creating a new political party in Germany. The last thing Seehofer and the csu want in a time of great political division with an election looming next year is to see a mass exodus of pro-Guttenberg party members to a new populist political party!
However, fast becoming a consummate politician, in January Guttenberg suddenly conveyed an impression of humbly withdrawing from contention for a political comeback by 2013. In a carefully choreographed performance, no doubt designed to wrong-foot the establishment in Germany, Guttenberg declared that he was not yet ready to return. In a two-hour meeting with Seehofer, Guttenberg declined to return to active politics at this time, according to the csu party boss. It does not take two hours to make such a declaration. Obviously that amount of time allows for the possibility of a political deal to be tabled, considered, debated and brought to a conclusion. Any deal offered was obviously not acceptable to the baron.
This is brilliant political psychology. By those actions, Guttenberg has left the German electorate with a feeling of unrequited anticipation within an atmosphere where the public are increasingly showing marked disaffection for their current political leadership. Guttenberg’s present public stance will only increase the cries to invite him back to help fix Germany’s dislocated political process as further fissures develop in its ailing coalition government the closer the nation gets to the 2013 polls.
Guttenberg is a personality worth watching closely in the coming months.
The Man in the Vatican
So is Pope Benedict xvi. This year will see the world spotlight focused with greater intensity on this aging yet sharp-minded and smooth-talking pontiff as he engages in one of his busiest periods to date.
The pope is just coming off a success last year with the Vatican’s own Jesuit son, Mario Draghi, installed as the head of the European Central Bank (dubbed “Pope Mario” by the Economist). The Daily Telegraph recently compared Draghi to Kim Jong Il—saying Draghi was even more dangerous than the late dictator. “Mr. Draghi is accountable to essentially no one,” the Telegraph wrote, “but, like the late Kim Jong Il, he has an enormous amount of power to make our lives difficult” (Dec. 19, 2011; emphasis added throughout).
But the pope is gearing up for an even greater push. In a December address before the Roman Catholic clergy, Benedict said Europe’s economic crisis ultimately stems from a continent-wide ethical breakdown. “Even if such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbor and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial,” the pope said, “still the motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to practice renunciation and make sacrifices.”
Later, he asked, “Where is the force that draws the will upwards?” In other words, where is the spiritual, motivational and political force needed to correct this crisis in ethics?
The implication, of course, is that it’s in the Catholic Church!
This isn’t the first time the pope has pointed to Rome as the answer to Europe’s economic woes. Since 2009, Benedict has repeatedly called for a new global financial order. He believes there should be a universal political authority in which religion plays a key role.
Benedict scheduled a synod of bishops for February, concentrating on his crusading effort of the “new evangelization” of Europe. This will enhance the initiative commenced by his predecessor, John Paul ii, who called for Europe to return to its Roman Catholic roots after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Many ex-Soviet states of Eastern Europe are now embedded in the political economy of the European Union. Benedict is ramping up Rome’s efforts to draw its largely Roman Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox constituents back under the Vatican’s spiritual influence. EU elites know that this is the only binding force that will glue Europe’s awkward mix of iron and clay together to fulfill their imperial vision.
In January, the pope reinforced his bevy of cardinals by the appointment of 22 new cardinals who are right-wing conservatives. This will strengthen his army of red hats for the coming year-long crusade, the “Year of Faith,” beginning in October. Another feature of this year will be the declaration of a number of “saints.”
The Vatican is notoriously patient when pursuing what it regards as its natural role: global hegemony. During the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, Pope John Paul ii pushed an initiative to support the Polish labor movement Solidarity in order to drive a wedge under the Iron Curtain. Time magazine reported that a senior cia officer questioned a senior Vatican official, How come your intelligence was always ahead of ours? The Jesuit responded, Ah! But we have had 2,000 years’ practice at this!
Had the Vatican representative understood the true origins of Catholicism, he would have added another 2,000 years to that equation to get back to its origins in ancient Babylon (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1-11; Revelation 17:1-6).
The Vatican’s chief enemy in the Cold War years, the Communist ussr, was successfully broken with the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. The next foreign-policy initiative of the Vatican State was to join its traditional protector, Germany, and initiate the Balkan wars of the 1990s (request our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans).
The resultant colonization of the Balkan Peninsula was finally completed with the 2011 takeover of the economy and the government of Greece under the direction of Berlin. The way is now clear for the Vatican to mount its 21st-century crusade to draw back its wandering European membership in key northern European states and hasten the return of its Eastern Orthodox daughters from ex-Soviet states to mother Rome.
Hence Pope Benedict’s current preparations for the highlight of the papal year 2012: the launching of his great European crusading initiative through his declared “Year of Faith.” This initiative is designed to renew the evangelizing missionary zeal of the church globally.
How to Know What Is Coming
Soon, everyone will be talking about Europe, and especially Germany and the Vatican.
You can know in advance what is coming. To discover what the Europe of 2013 and beyond will look like, go to the same source that showed Herbert Armstrong what the Europe of 2012 would look like: biblical prophecy.
The Bible tells us that the European combine will soon be cut down to a more efficient and powerful union of 10 kings. There will be 10 dictators that arise out of Europe. All of them will give their power to Germany.
This reshaping of Europe is already being considered. Reuters reported on Nov. 27, 2011, that Germany and France have discussed the possibility of a “core” Europe consisting of 8 to 10 nations. This year, we will see the EU combine further cement together after the new EU treaty due to be ratified in March comes into force. Designed to enforce budgetary and taxation discipline on all 17 eurozone nations, the treaty obligations will hurt a number of eurozone signatories. Thus, the prospect becomes even stronger of a core, first-tier Europe emerging at that point, consisting of its strongest economies.
The glue that will hold Europe’s unwieldy parts together will be the binding force of the religion of Rome. Revelation 17:12-13 reveal this will create a singular political-economic-military mindset among the final combine of 10 leading European nations soon to yield their power to the decree of one overarching political leader. With three Jesuit-trained men in key positions within today’s EU—Herman van Rompuy as president of the European Council, Mario Monti as prime minister of Italy, and Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank—one could wonder if Revelation 17 is already being fulfilled, with a woman (a church) riding a beast (economic, political and military power).
Iran’s taunting of the West—the German-led EU in particular—will soon test Germany’s patience to the limits. At that point, the German-led military forces of the 10-nation EU combine will wage blitzkrieg warfare and blow Iran’s nuclear-empowered aggression off the map. It will be a literal whirlwind of a war! (Daniel 11:40).
Germany will then fill the power vacuum created by Iran’s demise, supported by its Arabian allies, as depicted in the Psalm 83 alliance.
Despite the earthshaking developments that are leading up to this astonishing world war, most people are still blinded to the prophetic reality of what is now happening in Europe. In fact, the Bible says that when this world finally wakes up to what’s happening—when it sees this astounding union between the Roman church and a German-dominated Europe—the Earth “shall wonder” (Revelation 17:8). The inhabitants of the Earth will stand aghast when they finally realize what has suddenly come upon them.
But you need not stand aghast as these prophesied events unfold! You can know what happens next if, as Jesus said, you are watching world events and praying always (Luke 21:36).
That’s one reason why we are here—to help you watch world events. That is why the Trumpet, and the Plain Truth before us, have been, since the 1940s, boldly proclaiming that Europe would unite under 10 kings, that Britain would be no part of it, that Germany would be the dominant political force—and that the Vatican would be the overarching spiritual guide straddling the union.
In June 1980, for example, Mr. Armstrong wrote that “world conditions may force European nations … to unite, bringing to pass the revived ‘Holy Roman Empire’ …. [European nations] have wanted to unite politically, with a common currency and common military force, for some time—but have been unable. It can be accomplished only through the Vatican.”
Most commentators, of course, scoff at the thought of this. In their minds, a powerful church-state combine could never form in Europe. They simply cannot imagine a secular Europe, the way they see it, ever coming under the seductive influence and overriding power of the Roman church.
But Bible prophecy assures us that a great false church will steer the 10-nation beast now rising in Europe.
And for those who have eyes to see, the formation of this astounding union of church and state is already well under way!
Watch Europe, and particularly those who seem destined to be the leaders of church and state. Look for the Vatican to settle into its prophesied role as the woman riding atop the scarlet-colored beast (Revelation 17:3). It is coming. God’s prophecies are certain to happen! And when it happens, remember where you heard it first.