A reunited Germany will dominate a soon-to-be-resurrected Holy Roman Empire! That was Herbert W. Armstrong’s keynote prophecy, which he forecast even as the flames from World War ii smoldered amid the rubble of German cities. His message was unrelenting: The rise of this German-led “United States of Europe,” as he termed it, would immediately precede the catastrophic events Jesus Christ discussed in Matthew 24.
Mr. Armstrong delivered his forecast for Europe for decades, consistently and in detail. Right up until his death in January 1986, he never stopped sending that warning message.
To put it succinctly: Mr. Armstrong warned that a massive financial crisis centered in America would ripple across the whole world—and would spark the rise of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
In light of recent events, that forecast truly is impressive—not to mention an undeniable testament to Mr. Armstrong’s matchless grasp of biblical prophecy.
In 1968, Mr. Armstrong wrote a letter discussing the catastrophic economic conditions that would plague the United States and Britain in the end time. “If the dollar is devalued, inflation will almost surely result,” he wrote, “and eventual economic collapse for the United States” (co-worker letter, March 26, 1968; emphasis added throughout).
Referring to prophecies such as those in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, he continued: “Those of you who truly believe the prophecies of your Bible know such economic collapse is prophesied to happen! … We have shown how God prophesied a virtual trade war will get under way against the United States and Britain—and how our national economics will falter, and then collapse!”
Over the next 20 years, Mr. Armstrong’s forecast became even more specific. In 1984, he wrote that a massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S. That, in turn, could bring on the Great Tribulation suddenly. And that will lead quickly into the Second Coming of Christ and end of this world as we know it” (co-worker letter, July 22, 1984).
In August of that year, he expounded on what would precipitate the ignition of the nuclear catastrophe described in Matthew 24. “Now we’re hearing in the news of a soon-coming nuclear winter,” he wrote. “Nuclear explosions will produce an Earth-covering cloud that will give us a nuclear night. The sun will not get through. Crops will not grow. Billions will be killed by the nuclear blasts. Those remaining will starve. … [T]his is no wolf-wolf cry! It is prophesied in your Bible! It is real! And … economic crisis threatens to bring this about …” (co-worker letter, Aug. 23, 1984).
In autumn 2008, the first shock waves of that economic crisis struck.
America’s Financial 9/11
The days surrounding September 11, 2008, are now infamous. The image of many of America’s most prestigious financial institutions rapidly collapsing has been etched into the minds of the American populace. In reality, that disastrous week represented a turning point in U.S. financial power.
What remains is a gaping crater in the nation’s now-discredited economic core. America’s economy will never fully recover.
“The nation is gripped by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” the New York Times wrote September 21, 2008. “Before … the Treasury secretary, the Federal Reserve chairman and leaders on Capitol Hill proclaimed their intentions to take over bad debts, the prognosis for the American financial system was sliding from grim toward potentially apocalyptic.”
That calamity touched off a major recession in America that quickly went global. Millions of jobs were lost. Since the start of 2008, more than 460 banks have failed in the U.S. alone. (Contrast that with the five years prior to 2008, during which only 10 banks failed). In an effort to turn things around, the U.S. government injected trillions of dollars into rescue packages and bailouts, further burdening an already debt-saturated economy.
In 2011, for the first time since World War ii, U.S. debt exceeded its gross domestic product. By October 2013, the country’s national debt surged past $17 trillion.
Looking back, it is clear that the events of September 2008 dealt a deathblow to America’s reputation as a stable economic superpower. “It really does look as if the foundations of U.S. capitalism have shattered,” observed German daily Der Spiegel. For the United States, September 2008 was more of a turning point than September 11, 2001! It announced to the world that the American economic system had passed the point of no return.
Note this accurate forecast from the September 1983 Plain Truth. After a G-7 economic summit, the author noted “just how important confidence in America is to the stability of the entire Western world.” A crisis of confidence in America was bound to have dramatic global ramifications, it said—a forecast that has proved frightfully true. Then that article made this additional, more specific point: “The lack of confidence in American leadership must ultimately lead to a parting of the ways between the United States and Western Europe ….”
The inevitability of this transatlantic split is clear in biblical prophecy. Still, the insight to know that it would be precipitated by convulsions within the U.S. that would shatter global confidence is remarkable. And the September 2008 economic calamity moved events toward the fulfillment of this prediction. It rocked America’s reputation—but for Europe it precipitated a very different series of events. Europe took it as a catalyst to unite itself, and to begin stepping into the vacuum created by America’s crumbling financial system.
Within 14 months of the events of September 2008, all 27 European Union members had ratified the Lisbon Treaty. By December 2009, the EU constitution had taken effect, effectively forging the EU into an imperial power.
As you read earlier, this was exactly what Mr. Armstrong forecast would happen!
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück summed up European sentiment in October 2008 when he stated that “the origin and the center of gravity of the problem is clearly in the U.S.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed, both making it clear that they believed the global financial crisis was America’s fault. Pope Benedict xvi threw his voice behind the Europeans too. In a July 2009 encyclical, he joined the chorus calling for a newworld financial order independent of the U.S.
Soon, Europe’s demands for tighter control over global finance gave rise to tangible actions. At the G-20 economic summit in November 2008, the world’s most powerful economies discussed the creation of international bodies for regulating global finance. Europe, which dominates the G-20, quickly emerged at the forefront of the movement to reform the world’s financial system.
“Europe is moving rapidly to overhaul the global financial system in the wake of the economic crisis, pushing through new measures and proposing others that could impose significant restrictions on American and other firms based far beyond its borders,” observed the Washington Post on June 13, 2009. “The Europeans are now out front, for instance, in setting strict new standards for rating agencies and risk management at firms selling mortgage-backed securities. Europe has also seized the initiative in developing new rules to monitor hedge funds while forging ahead this week with plans to create two new powerful regulatory agencies in Europe ….”
Europe’s ever growing web of rules and regulations will have a major impact on America, noted the Post: “The campaign across the Atlantic has global implications, in large part because even firms based in the United States may be compelled to follow Europe’s tougher rules.”
A “new balance of power” is being worked out in Europe, reported independent news organization EurActiv. “France and Germany are openly challenging the rule of the City of London as Europe’s main financial hub, and are keen to see Paris or Frankfurt as powerful financial centers in a new, more regulated global system” (July 31, 2009).
By that time, 2009, a sovereign debt crisis was emerging in Europe. Unlike the U.S. debt woes, it can be theorized that the EU crisis was deliberately engineered within Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (emu). As Bernard Connolly explains in The Rotten Heart of Europe, the emu is a construct of German elites designed to benefit Germany’s export economy at the expense of the rest.
By 2011, Germany, the undisputed leader of the EU, had taken charge of managing the euro crisis. The Jesuit-educated son of Rome Mario Draghi assumed control of the world’s largest central bank, the European Central Bank (ecb), on November 1 of that year. By December 8 he had submitted to all EU leaders a fiscal pact for EU nations demanding that the ecb be handed full control of the mechanisms by which it would be implemented: the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the European Financial Stability Facility. EU leaders, except those in Britain, agreed to these demands.
The predominant EU member nations angrily denounced Britain’s refusal to join this fiscal union, threatening to destroy the major underpinning of the UK economy, London’s finance industry. This was the beginning of the process of Britain’s segregation from the EU. As Herbert Armstrong declared decades ago, even before Britain joined what was to become the EU, “Whether or not Britain now makes it into the Common Market, it is certain, I feel, she will not be one of the [members of the final united Europe]” (Plain Truth, May 1969).
The eurozone debt crisis is the catalyst dividing Europe into what is referred to as a “two speed” Europe. The fiscal pact formalizes it, consolidating a minority of EU nations—the eurozone—into a fiscal union. Ultimately, the strongest Roman Catholic economies within the EU will break away from the rest, demanding that they yield to the power of the Rome-Berlin axis or be cut off from vital resources (Revelation 16-17). This is the next step toward refining the rising United States of Europe into a 10-nation imperial bloc as Herbert Armstrong prophesied in 1952: “But there will be a United States of Europe—a union of 10 nations” (Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?).
How Could He Have Known?
Go back and reread the forecasts made by Mr. Armstrong about the unification of Europe, the rise of a European superpower, and the event that would set it all in motion. Remember: He made those statements when the Soviet empire dominated Eastern Europe and Germany was still cut in two. The European Union didn’t even exist until almost a decade later. Yet Mr. Armstrong clearly forecast the future of Europe, even explaining that financial crises would contribute to its rise as a superpower.
How could he have known?
Mr. Armstrong relied on what the Apostle Peter called the “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19). He had 100 percent faith in the Bible as God’s Word and that it was God’s mind in print. For more than 60 years he studied, meditated on and declared it as the definite Word of God. How was he so well informed about Europe specifically? He studied the prophecies such as those recorded in Daniel 2 and 7 and Revelation 13 and 17, which forecast these events.
Then, thankfully, Mr. Armstrong wrote down the truths God had revealed. For decades, he recorded them in articles and booklets, and he discussed them before tens of millions on his World Tomorrow television broadcast. He wanted to share the insight God gave him with the largest audience possible.
To learn more about the future of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, and what it means specifically for Britain, keep reading!