The Bible describes the nations of Europe giving their power and strength to the beast, yet Ireland has rejected the treaty throwing the EU into chaos. What does the Bible say? What does this mean for European nations like Britain?
Welcome to Bible in the News. This is Jonathan Bowen reporting. This week we go to Ireland where on Friday the 13th the luck of the Lisbon Treaty apparently ran out.
“THE European Union has been plunged into chaos after the rejection of its latest treaty by Irish voters,” read the first line of an Economist article for June 13.
Open your Bible to Revelation 17. This chapter is an animated depiction of Chrisitian Europe in the latter day. The picture is of a woman riding a beast with 10 horns. The horns are described for us in verse 12 as ten kings who eventually “make war with the lamb” – the Lord Jesus Christ. Daniel 2v44 tells us, “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
Revelation 17v12 tells us they “have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast”. In other words, individually these nations don’t amount to much – but collectively they are powerful for a limited time period. Bible students have looked for years for the unification of Europe by political means, and have watched has the Common Market has metamorphosized into the beastie known as the European Union that we see today. Following the Second World War the nations of Europe were weak. Today, they are going through growing pains as they struggle to align and “have one mind and give their power and strength unto the beast” (v13).
Liddle & Scott’s Greek Lexicon defines the word “give” as “to hand over”. This is a voluntary action. Under Napoleon, Bismark and Hitler different nations of Europe tried to unite Europe by “taking” power and strength from the nations. This does not fit the scriptural prerogative. They have to voluntarily “give” their power and strength.
The word “power” is defined in Strong’s concordance as “strength, power, ability… the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth… the power and resources arising from numbers…. The power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts….”
The word “strength” is defined in Strong’s Concordance as “power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases… the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)…. The power of rule or government.”
We are to look for the nations of Europe to voluntarily give up their sovereignty over their money, their armies and their political ability to determine their own course of action.
Political Power to be Given to the Beast
This is what the treaties and constitution of Europe are all about. The Economist of June 13 tells us,
“The Lisbon treaty is complex. It offers sweeping changes to the way the union runs—creating a new full-time “president” to represent member states, and a foreign-policy chief to speak for Europe round the world. It also sweeps away national vetoes in some important areas of policy, such as cross-border policing and justice.”
This is the voluntary ceding of power and strength.
The Catholic News on June 14th recorded the opinion of Anthony Coughlan of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, that the Lisbon Treaty would
“….reduce sovereign nations like Ireland, Britain and Germany, to the status of subordinate states comparable to the relationship between the state of Texas and the US Federal government… The Treaty would give the EU more law-making powers, Coughlan added, and would transfer more powers to the EU from national states, national parliaments and citizens. The non-elected Commissions have a monopoly on proposing EU laws. Laws would be made primarily by an irremovable "oligarchy," of 27 legislating politicians who constitute the Council of Ministers, who would make laws for 450 million Europeans.”
This would constitute the voluntary secession of political “power and strength” by member nations to the European beastie. The secession of monetary “power and strength” occurred when monetary union took place in 1990’s (notably excluding Britain, the latter day Tarshish power who we expect to come out of Europe).
A political cartoon this week depicted the politicians of the European Union as calling for democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe while calling for dictatorship in Europe.
Military Power to be Given to the Beast
As far as giving up military power and strength, look at the Bible in the news: The European Observer reported on June 17th,
“Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has indicated he would like to see a European army established. Speaking at a Social Democrat security policy conference in Berlin on Monday (5 May), Mr Steinmeier said he favoured the setting up of a "European armed force" and that he would like to see moves in this direction speeded up. German daily Tagespiegel reported Mr Steinmeier as referring to the fact that the EU's new treaty, currently undergoing ratification across the European Union, allows for the possibility of a group of member states to "move ahead" in defence policy…. Former defence minister, and head of the SPD group, Peter Struck said: "There will still be opposition to the idea of a European army as there once was against the single currency, the euro. But single states are no longer able to handle the threats of today," he continued. The German politicians' comments appear to be in line with the views of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has in the past made several statements on the need for common European defence.”
We see that the German defence minister believes that single states “have no kingdom” individually but will “receive power” if they give their “power and strength unto the beast”.
The BBC reported on June 5, 2008, “The French have said beefing up the EU's military capability will be a key part of their six-month presidency” (of the European Union).
So Why Say No?
If the Lisbon Treaty is leading is toward a fulfillment of Revelation 17, setting the stage for the standing up of the image, why did the Irish reject the Lisbon Treaty? Shouldn’t the nations of Europe be embracing this treaty that transfers national, political, monetary and military power and strength to the beast?
Well there is one other detail we need to pay attention to. Revelation 17 describes a beast with a woman sitting upon her. This woman wields great political power because “the kings of the earth have committed fornication” with her, “and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” She sits upon the beast, and it is the rider of any animal that give direction to the animal.
The Bible in the News and the Bible Magazine have, over the years, identified the woman with the Vatican – the religious system based out of Rome, the great city sitting on 7 mountains and reigning over the kings of the earth (v9, 18).
The European beastie must be under the influence of the Vatican. So why the “No” vote in Catholic Ireland? Well, Reuters reported the following on May 29th, in an article headlined, “Some Catholics pray for EU treaty "No" vote”:
“Eamonn Murphy hopes his prayers will help secure a "No" vote when predominantly Catholic Ireland votes on the European Union's reform treaty next month…. A number of Catholic prayer groups have put rejection of the treaty at the centre of their supplications. Some have sent text messages urging the devout to recite the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, a rosary-like prayer cycle which they believe is especially effective.” The article cited one of the Catholics as stating, “I want the laws of God and Christian values to be upheld. Without it, anything goes."
By this she means Catholic values. The Roman Catholic church wants to see the Constitution or Treaty – the political framework that will govern Europe – reflect its values and aims. The same article continued,
“An advert placed by one group in a Catholic newspaper this month called on members of the faith to reject the treaty because it would create a "new European identity based on radical secularism and atheistic philosophies". A guide seeking to scupper the accord has also been published by another group targeting Catholic voters. Bishops are expected to issue their formal position before the referendum.”
Put another way, once the Woman is comfortably seated upon the beast with the reigns in her hand then she will put her full force behind the Constitution and see that it is ratified, just as she supported Hitler and Mussolini leading up to the Second World War, and saw to it that the Catholic vote brought them to power. It has long stated that it wants the Christian roots highlighted in the EU Constitution.
Open An Exit Door To The EU?
The big question being posed by many, and included in the June 13th Economist article is, “Federalist types will demand to know why a small country on the far-western fringes of Europe, with less than 1% of the EU population, should be allowed to deny Lisbon to 26 other states?”
Many larger European nations are rushing to ratify the treaty anyway. The British parliament did so, without a popular vote on June 18th. This furthers the concept of a two speed Europe. One where those wishing to rush ahead can do so, and the skeptics will be relegated to the sidelines and pushed out of the way. This may well be part of the undercurrent in the summit discussions which are to commence today. Will the political framework be worked out that will allow the EU to forge ahead without unanimous consent? Will a door be opened, which skeptical nations like Ireland – and yes, Britain, even though its parliament voted yes on the treaty, be pushed through as they drag their heels and hold up the kings of the earth giving their power and strength to the beast? When the EU wants to move further with monetary, military and political union and a country like Britain holds back – will it be jettisoned from the club? We know Britain will be out in the end – but how it will be removed remains to be seen.
One thing we do know,
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14).
We continue to see the Bible in the News as the scroll of Revelation continues to be unraveled leading to the battle of Armageddon and the great day of God Almighty that will commence the destruction of the Kingdom of Men and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
While the nations of Europe posture themselves to give their power and strength to the beast, we need to ensure we are faithful to the call of the gospel, so that we can be amongst the “chosen” who are with the Lord when the kings of the earth make war with him and when he will overcome them, smashing and crushing the image, scattering its dust into the air, and set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.
Tune in next week for another edition of the Bible in the News. www.bibleinthenews.com