The Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.(JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
The Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.

The Spirit Behind the Beast

Hidden from the view of commentators is the spirit that has risen to dominate the EU through its most influential movers and shakers.

“Well, I suppose we can be grateful that the EU didn’t win the Nobel Prize for Economics,” quipped Peter Hitchens in the Daily Mail. Like many commentators, he was incredulous that the European Union—this massive experiment in federalism, destroying democratic structures and smashing national sovereignty all over the Continent, and currently being crushed by economic crisis—could possibly have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

“But there is a sense in which the EU has brought peace,” Hitchens continued. “It has done so by allowing France, and more recently Britain, to pretend to be independent powers, while actually being vassals of Germany. And it has allowed Germany to be the imperial ruler of Europe while pretending to be a Europeanized, neutered nothingness.”

That is the reality in Europe today. Germany is imperial ruler.

How has this happened without attracting the attention of media experts? And, indeed, the attention of the national leaders who have been the dupes over the past 70 years in willingly signing up to this project?

Well, the reason is spiritual. The true nature of the beastly power that has arisen in Europe is only apparent to those minds attuned to the reality of the spiritual powers behind it.

Such a one was Herbert W. Armstrong. This man prophesied the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire even while its Hitlerian sixth resurrection collapsed under the onslaught of the Allied powers in their victory over Nazism almost 70 years ago.

Today a few—admittedly still a very small handful—of commentators on the European scene, such as Peter Hitchens, see this reality. The EU is a behemoth built in particular by the Roman Catholic elites of Germany over decades of patient and painstaking imperial effort. It amounts to none other than a literal resurrection of the old Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation—and behind it is the same spirit that empowered the Holy Roman Empire on six previous occasions!

We have been attuned to the rise to political and economic dominance of Europe by Germany for some time. But it’s the sudden rise to prominence of the spirit of Babylon that has caught most observers of Europe off guard. Indeed few, even now, have recognized what is increasingly influencing the consolidation of this empire: It is not Berlin, or even Rome, per se, but rather an ancient religion, the religion of Babylon.

The Only Way to Unite

In the January 1979 issue of the Plain Truth newsmagazine, Herbert Armstrong made this statement, with great prophetic foresight: “The nations of Europe have been striving to become reunited. They desire a common currency, a single combined military force, a single united government. They have made a start in the Common Market. They are now working toward a common currency. Yet, on a purely political basis, they have been totally unable to unite.

“In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling (Revelation 17:1-5).” There is the prophecy of Revelation 17 stated in cold, hard, up-to-date language.

That was written over 30 years ago—yet it’s happening before your eyes today! The religion and the state leading Europe are suddenly being revealed as the prime components of a final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, with the Vatican riding atop—“astride”—this developing union of church and state! (verses 3, 7).

That prophesied church-state union could not effectively emerge till the Franco-German bloc was broken and a new balance of power was established in Europe: a Rome-Berlin axis! Just such an axis has emerged. Few indeed grasp the reality of this sea change in Europe.

Rome-Berlin Axis

This is a rough time economically for Europe. Many nations are being forced to take steep austerity measures aimed at getting their books balanced. Anticipating the increasing clamor for EU leaders to promote growth amid these cuts, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel colluded with European Central Bank (ecb) President Mario Draghi to establish the future of EU economic policy. Merkel’s and Monti’s staffs planned several joint German-Italian economic stimulus initiatives for approval by the European Council.

In the process, Socialist François Hollande’s France was marginalized. The Franco-German axis was broken.

Fully three months after the Trumpet broke this story, the German news source Spiegel headlined it thus: “Is the Franco-German Axis Kaput?” (October 22).

With Chancellor Merkel detaching her nation from France, watch for her to be increasingly influenced by Rome in her political and economic outlook.

This is the reality of Herbert Armstrong’s prophecy that the Vatican will sit astride both church and state—Rome and Berlin—when the beast power reaches its final configuration!

Same Old Spirit

This is not a new thing. It is a very ancient phenomenon that tracks right back to shortly after the establishment of post-Flood civilization. It has to do with a spirit—the spirit of Babylon that permeated the effort to centralize government under one dominant spiritual power in that ancient city (Genesis 11:1-6). Yet, as the biblical record indicates, it is a spiritual influence at complete odds with God’s will (verses 7-9).

As the Trumpet’s editor in chief has stated, “This great false church operates from a city on Earth that rules over ‘the kings of the earth.’ She will guide a 10-nation European power, headed by Germany. … This system is so evil that it imagines, or plots and plans, against God Himself! (see Revelation 13 and 17). The system is led by Satan, whom they worship (Revelation 13:1-4)” (Nahum—An End Time Prophecy for Germany).

This system is dominated by a resilient spirit—one that has moved minds to continue the Babylonish approach to centralized, collective, catholic, universalist imperialism in an effort to rule the world time and time again.

No entity has been more successful in this effort than the one that, over the centuries, has continually risen and fallen, only to be resurrected yet again: the Holy Roman Empire. That same spirit drives today’s EU imperialists toward the same old imperial goal.

Do you know what Italian Prime Minister Monti, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, ecb head Mario Draghi, and EU Council President Herman van Rompuy all have in common, apart from being prominent leaders within today’s European Union? They all have the same Jesuit-educated mind in their approach to the eurocrisis. Their education was guided by that same spirit which sought over 4,000 years ago to garner central power over the nations under the influence of the ancient leader of Babylon, Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10).

Merkel joining forces with these men places the EU’s purse strings—and the German levers of power—much closer to Rome’s grasp. It was ever so in ancient Babylon—this nexus between Babylon and Assyria, the nation from which today’s Germany descends (verses 11-12).

So history comes full circle. The world’s systems of religion, education, government, trade and commerce began under a central authority based in ancient Babylon. And thus, your Bible declares, it shall be at the end! (Revelation 18).

Expect Berlin and Rome to jointly dominate EU policy decisions from here on. But more than that, look for the Vatican, to whom the Jesuits in particular give complete allegiance, to have an overarching influence on both church and state!

A Woman Riding a Beast

Revelation 13 records the famous prophecy of a “beast.” A thorough study of all related scriptures and a comparison with the events of history show that this beast is the Roman Empire. In the latter part of this chapter is described “the mark of the beast.” This mark is the mark of the Roman Empire.

Note well, however, what Herbert Armstrong wrote about the influence, the chief spirit, behind this beast, in his booklet The Mark of the Beast: “In Revelation 17 a later stage of this same wild beast is pictured, and there a ‘woman’—a great church—sits astride it, guides it, rules over it. But the mark is the mark of the Roman Empire—not the Roman Catholic Church. … It brands on the people the mark of the ‘beast’—that is, the mark of the Roman Empire, not the mark of the Church. … The Roman Empire is the real author of this ‘mark.’ It is the mark of the beast, not the woman who rode the beast.” It is thus the spirit of the woman riding, or guiding, the beast—a Holy Roman imperial spirit—that causes people to carry the mark of the beast.

‘Back to Basics’

European Council President Herman van Rompuy made an interesting observation when commenting on himself and his Jesuit-educated fellows all sharing high office in the European Union. During a keynote speech delivered at an EU conference in November 2011, he declared, “Today, Mario Draghi, Mario Monti and myself are all three alumni from the Jesuits. Back to basics.”

Just what did he mean by that?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Jesuits are an order founded upon a “soldierly spirit.” Their founder, Loyola, regarded the pope as “Christ on Earth.” The same source mentions that “The name ‘Societas Jesu’ had been born by a military order approved and recommended by Pius ii in 1450.”

When the Vatican reacted against the Protestant Reformation with its own Counter-Reformation, “The Jesuits naturally endeavored to counteract the spread of Protestantism,” this encyclopedia says. “They became the main instruments of the Counter-Reformation; the re-conquest of southern and western Germany and Austria for the church, and the preservation of the Catholic faith in France and other countries, were due chiefly to their exertions.”

What Jesuit-based “basics” does Van Rompuy seek to return “back to” if not those of the soldierly, crusading spirit of the Jesuits?

This is that spirit that Pope Benedict xvi sought to revive as he recently launched the Vatican’s Year of Faith.

A New Crusade

Commencing October 11, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican ii, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pope Benedict launched what amounts to a new crusade by the Roman Catholic Church.

Called the “Year of Faith,” the next 12 months will showcase a plethora of initiatives designed to revive what the Vatican sees as the key role of the church: its commitment to evangelize the world.

“The Church exists to evangelize,” announced the pope during his homily in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, October 8. “At various times in history, divine providence has given birth to a renewed dynamism in the church’s evangelizing activity.” The strong implication was that now is one of those “various times in history.”

Our question is, with Europe in crisis and the world in the utter turmoil of global disorder, why now?

Believe it or not, your Bible answers that question. The timing of Pope Benedict’s new crusade gels perfectly in sequence with the signs Jesus Christ gave to highlight those world events leading up to His Second Coming (Matthew 24:4-5, 24). It all has to do with the stirring of a powerful spirit that has traditionally used the Vatican as a springboard for action (Revelation 17:13).

Why launch the Vatican’s crusading Year of Faith on the 50th anniversary of Vatican ii? Well, there is deep symbolism here that points to the future direction of Europe.

Vatican ii became the catalyst for an ecumenical drive by Rome to garner back into its fold the Orthodox churches and the wayward Protestant daughters.

Whereas the most well-known doctrine affirmed unanimously by all delegates to Vatican i, convened by Pius ix in 1868, was papal infallibility, the most declarative statement made at Vatican ii relating to Rome’s interpretation of its role was the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. It states that “the sole Church of Christ which in the creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Savior, after His resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth.’ This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him” (emphasis mine). Thus it was reestablished as a binding doctrine of Roman Catholicism at Vatican ii that the Roman Church is the only true church.

Incidentally, these singular universal claims of the Vatican inspired Adolf Hitler’s interpretation of dictatorial rule under one doctrine in his effort to produce a thousand-year Reich. “Until now, there has never been anything more grandiose on the Earth than the hierarchical organization of the Catholic Church,” Hermann Rauschning recorded Hitler as saying. “I transferred much of this organization into my own party” (Hitler m’a Dit).

This same Babylonish spirit of forced acceptance of universalist rule is prophesied to dominate the final rise of the Holy Roman Empire. This is revealed in the prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17.

The Power of Symbolism

The power of symbolism to convey implicit messages to the masses is not lost on those who are shaping Europe into its final 10-power configuration.

The most potent of symbols overlaying the European Union is its flag. In late October, that flag was paraded together with its source of inspiration in Strasbourg as a sign of the further assertion of the Babylonish spirit that dominates the EU’s parliamentary seat. As Giacomo Galeazzi explained in a Vatican Insider article: “The symbol of Europe was conceived by a Catholic, and tomorrow, for the first time, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be carried past the EU Parliament building. … The 12 stars on the EU flag are an homage to her and yet this will be her first ‘visit’ to the political headquarters of the EU. Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the statue of the Virgin Mary will be brought to the cathedral of the city that symbolizes European technocracy.”

What is European technocracy? Boiled down to its essence, it is the imposition of the Holy Roman imperialist will of unelected technocrats on an unsuspecting public on the continent of Europe!

“Few people know that the symbol of unified Europe has exquisitely Marian origins, as the European Union’s official flag proves with its 12 stars and the Virgin Mary’s blue and white colors,” Galeazzi continued. His article also highlighted “the requests which Our Lady of Fatima became a bearer of in order to save Europe and the world and ensure peace and prosperity.”

Thus, the symbol of a woman—which tracks back to Nimrod’s mother-wife, Semiramis, the original symbolic great religious whore of Babylon—is transferred to its modern-day counterpart, symbolizing the final resurrection of that old Babylonish empire in its European Union clothes.

Same spirit, same old whore, same tactics—same outcome! “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6).

The Ultimate Outcome

Yet though the whole world has so often suffered the perverse legacy of the spirit of Babylon, the most tremendous hope is contained in the prophecy of its future destruction. As the Trumpet’s editor in chief has declared, “God is about to destroy the whole Babylonian system forever. It will never rise again” (op. cit.).

That outcome is affirmed in the more sure word of prophecy contained in Revelation 18.

And what lies beyond the destruction of the great Babylonish religious whore?

You need to read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like to discover that great wonder! That old spirit of Babylon will be replaced by the very Holy Spirit of God, which will reveal to humankind their incredible human potential. The vistas of truth, of peace, of plenty and of abundance of blessings that Spirit opens up will remove all remembrance forever of that old Babylonish spirit of the Holy Roman Empire!