The Roman Empire was, is and will remain in existence until Jesus returns to earth and puts an end to all world power structures.
When discussing an issue as the Roman Empire, we must think long term: That means more than 2,000 years of history are involved. If we include the other three empires then we can add another 600 years. That’s a long time, but the Bible summarizes these four Gentile superpowers with one sentence: "in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44). According to Scripture, these 2,600 years are merely "days." Therefore, we must think long term in order to see the entire picture. For instance, I held a prophecy conference last year in Grevenbroich, Germany.
Although I grew up near by, and had visited the city many times as a teenager, I wanted to learn more about it, so I checked the internet where I discovered a great deal of information, yet one statement struck me: "Grevenbroich is of little historical significance since it is a relatively new city established in 1585." The city of Neuss is located approximately 20 kilometers from Grevenbroich. The city celebrated its 2,005th birthday last summer. Neuss was a city before Jesus was born, and it was where I served my apprenticeship as a bricklayer.
I remember one unique experience I had at a construction site. We were ready to pour the concrete foundation for a multi-family dwelling but before we could proceed, the inspector had to approve it. During his inspection he walked on soil some 3 meters below street level where he noticed a hollow sound. Further inspection revealed a tunnel below and the building process was immediately stopped. The tunnels had to be broken, excavated and new ground prepared for the foundation. Following several weeks of delay, we finally got to "solid ground" or so we thought. We dug a few test holes and found that more tunnels were located deeper. But this time our supervisor ordered that we prepare everything for inspection differently. Holes were dug for the inspector to see, but we were careful to dig the holes only between the arches where it was deepest. Apparently the inspector was satisfied, we poured the concrete and the apartment building was finally completed.
The point I want to make is that Rome is the foundation of our Western civilization, andit is decisive for the entire world.
The Global Image
"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:31-35).
This is the history of the Gentile world in a nutshell. The Gentile power structure began with a person, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and will end with Mystery Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that revealed the history of the Gentiles. Daniel 2:35 states: "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together." Notice that the destruction begins with iron and ends with gold. The entire world will be involved when judgment comes - no exemptions. Who is this power that filled the whole earth? Doubtless, it is the Lord Jesus Christ, for unto Him was given all power in heaven and on earth. The Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The Nation Dreamers
Before we analyze the composition of this global image, we must reveal the motivating factor of the nation which, as we will see, is the great dragon, that old serpent called the devil and Satan.
Therefore, let us look at the nations of the world to determine why they believe they are so important. The idea of being a great nation is sourced from the diabolic treasure of Satan’s heart. Here is what the Bible states about the original dreamer of evil:
"Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become
like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:9-15).
This is a prophetic look back at the birth of sin. This is not describing the fall of man who was deceived, thus he is subject to God’s prepared plan of salvation. Satan cannot be saved because he is the originator of sin.
Babylon or Lucifer?
When we read all of Isaiah 14, we notice that this is addressed to the king of Babylon. Thus, the logical question would be: Is Lucifer the king of Babylon? In reading the text, we realize that it begins with hell and the grave, which means the territory of spirits and demons. There is no question about the identity because the king of Babylon was never in heaven. Thus, it is impossible for him to have "fallen from heaven." Nor is he the "son of the morning," or "Lucifer" which means "daystar," as is translated in the KJV. While the Bible clearly addresses the king of Babylon, this is the revelation to the power structure that stands behind Babylon, and therewith behind all the nations of the world.
Lucifer’s Pride – The Pride of the Nations
We noted Lucifer’s continuous "I will." He said, "I will be like the Most High." The foundation of all nationalists, Nazis, patriots, etc. is pride. That’s quite humbling, isn’t it? With this we have the thought treasure of man’s heart; it is Lucifer’s intellectual property. Man has been building his own power structure under Lucifer’s leadership, with the intention of dominating planet Earth and becoming equal with God.
God’s Thoughts About the Nations
We find the most simple summary of the nations from God’s perspective in Isaiah 40:17: "All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." This, of course, is a tough pill for nationalists to swallow.
The fact that the nations are ruled by the god of this world is the reason they continue tobelieve in their own importance, and are quite naturally forced to oppose the Lord, His plan and His anointed.
The Heathen Rage
Psalm 2:1-3 says: "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." The word "heathen" refers to all people. The words "king" and "rulers" refer to all political leaders.
What is their goal? Verse 3 explains: "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." What are these bands and the cords? Well, what do bands and cords do? They restrict! Doubtless, it’s the limitation God has set for the nations.
The Ten Commandments, for example, are "cords" and "bands." What is their function? In modern lingo we could call these cords and bands handcuffs. Why does a person get handcuffed? He is arrested due to a suspicion that he has broken the law. No society can function without proper law. If there was no law, then there would be no transgression, and everyone would be free to do as he pleased. That would obviously result in anarchy. No civilization could function without laws, which is why God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel. However, the fundamental principles of the Commandments apply to all nations of all times.
How do we know that the Ten Commandments are valid for all people today? Answer: You will not find a country that rewards children who are disobedient to their parents, that encourages murder, adultery, stealing or telling lies. These are fundamental principles God has entrusted to the nations and Satan is not permitted to override those ordinances.
Therefore, the Bible orders us to be obedient to the various forms of governments. Romans 13:1-4 reads: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Government is even referred to as "the minister of God."
On a recent visit to India, I noticed the following inscription over a government building: "Government work is God’s work." And this is a Hindu government.
Removal of the Cords and Bands
The nations would like nothing more than to do away with these cords and bands. This should not come as a surprise because the Antichrist is the opposer of God. Second Thessalonians 2:4 reads: "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
The Breaking of the Ten Commandments
Although we emphasize that the Ten Commandments were addressed to the people of Israel who were freed from the bondage of Egypt, the Ten Commandments still apply to all people at all times.
Let’s review briefly the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This is universal. You can name your god any way you want to but deep down in your heart God has given you the knowledge of the one true God. Creation is the proof. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse"
(Romans 1:20). Evolution is the denial of God the Creator.
The Soviet Union brazenly declared, "There is no God!" After about 70 years, God declared: "There is no Soviet Union."
Second Commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Exodus 20:4-5). Surely no one in today’s Christianized world would bow down to an idol. But we cannot deny that we have countless idols. Just take a look at the entertainment and sports world, and you will see people put other people upon pedestals. The news media often uses the words "Idol" and "worship" in relation to celebrities. This will lead to the establishment of the image of the beast which will be worshipped by the entire world.
Third Commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Exodus 20:7). People have no problem taking the Lord’s name and using it to express anger or to curse. A reader sent me an article from the U.K. Here is one paragraph: "A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word." Most Christians camouflage breaking the third commandment by using such phrases as "O my Gosh" or "Gee."
Fourth Commandment: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work." What is the purpose of the sabbath? It is a day of rest. But this rest has been disregarded and replaced with work.
Businesses were closed on Sundays when we moved to South Carolina in 1978. Today, virtually every business is open at some point on Sunday and many are open 24/7. Not only does it involve the business staff, but is also imposed on its customers. Therefore, this law is also being broken and replaced by more and more work.
The United States has the hardest working work force in the world, superceding Japan and Singapore. Americans work more and rest less. It is ironic that a nation where Christianity is so popularized and powerful blatantly violates God’s principle relating to rest.
Fifth Commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12). Say goodbye to that law, which incidentally is quoted in the New Testament: "Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise" (Ephesians 6:2). We destroyed that law! Mom and Dad have been integrated into the idol-worshipping system of materialism to such an extent that the distinction between father and mother has ceased to exist. In the U.S. it is the mother who is in charge. Today we have children’s rights movements. In Europe, it is forbidden by law to dispense corporal punishment. The law is still vague in the U.S. but the U.S. is a Roman institution and will eventually have to follow suit.
Sixth Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). A more fitting translation of this commandment should be "Thou shalt not murder." What is abortion? It is legalized murder!
How about murderous thoughts? Jesus referred to this commandment in Matthew 5:21, and then added: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (verse 22).
Seventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Adultery has become normal practice in today’s society. The entertainment industry leads the way. Adultery is presented as being a way of life for free-thinking, intelligent people. Someone may object and say, "That’s only for the liberals and the Hollywood crowd." Wrong! A recent study by the Barna Group Institution reveals that divorce among evangelical Christians is as high or higher than the rest of the United States. Furthermore, America is the leader when it comes to the destruction of the family.
Eight Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15). Modern society is geared towards stealing. Just think of such recent events as the Enron and Martha Stewart scandals. To obtain something you don’t have, or to illegally increase your portfolio is stealing. The boundary between making a profit and stealing is becoming so fine that having a team of lawyers is necessary to determine between what is right and what is wrong. We cannot deny that modern business practices require some level of stealing.
Ninth Commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Exodus 20:16). Who cares about the truth? The first words out of the mouth of someone who has been accused of something is, "I didn’t do it." Lawyers will often advise their clients to deny everything. Lying in business, in politics and in the church has become fashionable. It is not surprising, therefore that the Bible says: "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Tenth Commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's" (Exodus 20:17). If we kept this commandment, our so-called free market system would collapse overnight. Covetousness is the motivating factor of any successful business venture. Can you imagine that at the next general meeting of Boeing, the head CEO would make the proclamation, "We have no intention to catch up to Airbus and have what they have. We are just happy to be #2 and are content. We do not desire their success." That CEO would last but a few more seconds, he would be literally kicked off the stage. To reach higher goals, defeat the competition, have more than others is the engine of free market capitalism.
The Law Must Be Broken
In summary, the cords and the bands; that is, the law of God, must be broken, and replaced by those who honor the god of forces. Here is what the prophet Daniel wrote: "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done…But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things" (Daniel 11:36,38). I can hear the cry of the world’s business elite: "You can’t argue with success!"
How does God react to the people’s raging and imagining? "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision" (Psalm 2:4). That verse is so comforting and encouraging. These men who publicly proclaim that, we are the greatest nation on the face of the earth have become nothing. God laughs at them!
The Identity of the Four Superpowers
There is little doubt about the identity of the four superpowers - the gold, silver, brass and iron. They are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
Here is the explanation Daniel gave to King Nebuchadnezzar: "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And 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. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure" (verses 37-45).
We are not dealing with a dream world, but we are dealing with a physical entity: "O king, art a king of kings…thou art this head of gold." Incidentally, this is the world’s best Gentile superpower, represented by gold, the most precious of all metals.
The next two kingdoms are explained with only 24 words: "And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth" (Daniel 2:39). These are the kingdoms of Greece and Medo-Persia.
Further, is the documentation we have in Daniel 8:5: "And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes." Who is this goat? Verse 21 explains: "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." Therewith, we have clearly identified the three heathen superpowers: Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece.
The Fourth Superpower
Interestingly, Daniel spends most of his time revealing details about the fourth and final Gentile superpower. We noticed that it is very strong, it will break to pieces, it will subdue and it will bruise. It would be difficult to interpret this negative description of the fourth superpower as being positive. Therefore, it is necessary for us to take a closer look at the heavenly declaration describing this power structure, which is extremely cruel and destructive, in light of today’s earthly realities.
Remember Psalm 2. It is unreasonable to assume that any political leader today would openly declare war against the Lord and His anointed because the Lord is not a visible manifestation on earth. You can’t use military weapons against spiritual powers. Understanding the prophetic Word requires us to differentiate between earthly and spiritual powers. Psalm 2, as well as the image Daniel describe, earthly powers, but what’s more important to realize is that they are only a result of spiritual powers. The nations can’t fight against spiritual powers with weapons of war, but their collective action and behavior reveals their intention to "take counsel… against the Lord and against the anointed." Keeping these facts in mind will assist our understanding how our governments participate in the breaking, subduing and bruising process.
Against the Anointed
There’s one instance where this global leadership, this rebellion against the Lord and His anointed, is mentioned in the New Testament, and that is recorded in Acts 4 with the beginning of the Church.
The religious authority had forbidden the church in Jerusalem to preach in the name of Jesus. I’d like to add here that this statement is often misused because people with a prejudged political view would, in rebellion against their government, pridefully exclaim, "We ought to obey God rather than man." But the political authority was not involved; The Jews and not the Roman government had forbidden the preaching in Jesus’ name. What did the Church do? They prayed: "when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together" (Acts 4:24-27). The opposition of the religious authorities caused the Church to utter the words of Psalm 2. Then they identify the political realities: Herod, the half Jew, Pontius Pilate the Roman, the Gentiles and finally the people of Israel. Thus, the entire world was, is and will be involved in the rebellion against God’s plan of salvation. They all stand in opposition against the God of heaven because they are servants of sin and are subject to Satan, God’s arch enemy.
When we recognize these facts we will understand that it is impossible to have a political entity identified with the Church of Jesus Christ. In other words, there is no such thing as a Christian nation. After all, the Bible commands us to be subject to the worldly government. If we constitute the worldly government, then are we supposed to be subject to ourselves?
According to Roman Catholicism, the pope is Christ’s earthly representative, and he claims political, economic, military and religious power. But that is contrary to Scripture. The true Church is a minority. In general the Church is despised, rejected, persecuted and even killed. That little flock are chosen ones who are in this world, but are not of this world.
Back to the prophetic statement of the first church. When they include the political authorities of the entire world in their prayer then we must realize this is on a spiritual level. Surely the Roman government had no knowledge of Jesus, nor had the Gentiles heard of Him, thus, it did not occur at that time. Prophetically, however, it revealed the world’s opposition in relation to the Anointed.
Over All the Earth
We already read about the great mountain that "filled the whole earth" in Daniel 2:35. According to Daniel Nebuchadnezzar is "Thou, O king, art a king of kings… And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand." The next two kingdoms are also destined to "bear rule over all the earth."
In Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony, he states: "The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth" (Daniel 4:11). Daniel confirms: "It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth" (verse 22).
Someone may argue that the kingdom of Babylon was limited to only a very small part of the world. So what about the rest? The answer is simple, the rest does not count because it is all part of these four empires, but they do not carry enough weight to be recognized as an individual identity. When it says "over all the earth," then I take that to literally mean "over all the earth." I refuse to accept such conclusions as "to the known world" because areas of the world that were not known at that time do not play a part in the fundamental establishment of the four-fold foundation of the heathen powers: gold, silver, brass and iron.
The Last Superpower
The fourth superpower is unique; actually it is totally different. Chapter 7 reveals the first three powers represented with the images of such animals as a lion, a bear and a leopard. But not the fourth. Something unusual is documented: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns" (Daniel 7:7). Note the word "diverse." Remember Daniel saw this in a night vision, not a dream. God was revealing the future of the heathen world in more details.
Again, notice the use of such negative words as dreadful, terrible, strong exceedingly, great iron teeth, devour, brake, stamped. This sounds very much like total destruction, but this is seen from a heavenly perspectives. From an earthly perspective, it is quite a different story. The Romans did wonderful things. They elevated culture, human rights, civilization and knowledge to the highest level for the benefit of all citizens. The hallmarks of the Roman Empire were peace and prosperity. They went virtually over all of Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia, establishing their dominion with marks of permanency. Many great buildings still standing today testify to the glory of the Roman Empire. These structures were built by educated and intelligent people. They had schools and colleges where architects, engineers and craftsmen were trained. A complex system of transportation and communication was established. Most important is the writing of the Roman law valid throughout the world.
Special attention should be directed to the intellectual property of the Romans. It is a great treasure that is still valid for the entire world today. Here are examples from page 15 of the July 1997 issue of National Geographic:
In the year 244 AUC (that is, 509 B.C.) the patrician families of Rome set up a quasirepresentative form of government, with a pair of ruling consuls elected for a one-year term. This marked the beginning of the Roman Republic, a form of government that would continue until Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon 460 years later. Those five centuries were marked by increasing prosperity and increasing democracy.
Rights and Duties of Citizens (page 30)
Within the broad sweep of uniformity, Roman administration at the local level was flexible, tolerant, and open. When Rome conquered a new province, the defeated general and his army were carted away in chains; almost everyone else came out ahead. The local elite were given positions in the Roman hierarchy. Local businesses gained the benefit of Roman roads, water systems, the 13 laws of commerce and the courts. Roman soldiers guarded the town against pirates and marauders. And within a fairly short period, many of the provincial residents would be made cives Romani – citizens of Rome – with all the commensurate rights and duties.
Anti-Abortion (page 35)
Augustus used all the tools of governing. Concerned about a decline in the birthrate, he employed both the stick (a crack-down on abortion) and the carrot (tax incentives for big families). To see if his policies were effective he took a census of his empire now and then.
Literacy and Law ( pages 62-63)
The English historian Peter Salway notes that England under Roman rule had a higher rate of literacy than any British government was able to achieve for the next 14 centuries. One of the most important documentary legacies the Romans left behind was the law – the comprehensive body of case law that some scholars consider our greatest inheritance from ancient Rome.
The ideal of written law as a shield – to protect individuals against one another and against the awesome power of the state – was a concept the Romans took from the Greeks. But it was Rome that put this abstract notion into daily practice, and the practice is today honored around the world.
Rome – U.S.A. (page 70)
The Roman process of making laws also had a deep influence on the American system. During the era of the Roman Republic (509 to 49 B.C.) lawmaking was a bicameral activity. Legislation was first passed by the comitia, the assembly of the citizens, then approved by the representative of the upper class, the senate, and issued in the name of the senate and the people of Rome. Centuries later, when the American Founding Fathers launched their bold experiment in democratic government, they took republican Rome as their model. Our laws, too, must go through two legislative bodies. The House of Representatives is our assembly of citizens, and like its counterpart in ancient Rome, the U.S. Senate was originally designed as a chamber for the elite (it was not until the 17th Amendment, in 1913, that ordinary people were allowed to vote for their senators).
The reliance on Roman structures at the birth of the United States was reflected in early American popular culture, which delighted in drawing parallels between U.S. leaders and the noble Romans.
There was a great vogue for marble statues depicting George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, even Andrew Jackson in Roman attire.
Rome Was, Is and Will Be
No one can escape Rome. It is global. America and Australia are products of Rome. They were discovered, settled and established primarily by Europeans, using the Roman principles outlined above. Thus, they are more or less European continents.
I am reminded of a statement Midnight Call Ministries founder Dr. Wim Malgo, made in the late 60s when he was in the U.S.A. He was asked whether America would become communist. That was a legitimate question for U.S. citizens because the Soviet Union was conquering one country after another, establishing the Iron Curtain. Malgo answered with a definite "no" and added, "America will become Catholic." That statement is becoming more and more of a visible reality.
Have you seen the pictures of President Bush, his wife Laura, former President George Bush and former President Bill Clinton on their knees before the body of Pope John Paul? They were intentionally or unintentionally honoring the most powerful and influential man on Earth.
I happened to be at our local bank during the process when the new pope was being elected. Most of the employees there are Protestant yet they were all talking about "our" pope. Over and over I heard the question, "When are we going to have a new pope?" The pope, therefore, is a recognized symbol of peace and benevolence by people the world over.
I challenge you to take careful notice of popular books that are being written, or the latest movement within the evangelical church and its newest system developed to "evangelize" the world. They are usually endorsed by the Catholic Church. Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Presbyterians and other denominations will no doubt retain their identity as such, but all will inevitably come under Rome’s umbrella.
Dreadful and Diverse
Daniel was overwhelmed when he saw the fourth beast. He confessed: "Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet" (Daniel 7:19). Again, the word "diverse" stands out, signifying it’s difference from the three previous heathen superpowers.
Daniel received the answer: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces" (verse 23). Again, we note the word "diverse" and "the whole earth." This is an important key to understanding Bible prophecy, particularly the book of Daniel and the times in which we live today because they are interrelated.
When we read that this fourth beast shall devour, tread down and break to pieces the whole earth, that does not mean necessarily physical destruction. As we already learned, freedom and prosperity were experienced during the Roman Empire and as we will see a little later the Roman Empire still exists and does dominate the world.
What’s Positive About Negative?
Actually, all of the advantages we have today are part of the "devouring," "treading down" and "breaking to pieces" package.
Take democracy for example. It is a Greek-Roman political philosophy designed to give power to the people by the people. This philosophy has been copied now for 2,000 years and democracy is virtually dominating the world today.
Most politicians loudly proclaim that we are fighting for freedom and democracy. But that very freedom falls under the category of "devouring," "treading down" and "breaking to pieces." In order to implement this freedom and democracy war has been the necessary tool for 2,500 years, and if we ascribe any significance to the conflict in Iraq, it’s still being used today.
Nebucadnezzar the Dictator
It may be difficult to understand how the Bible honors Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, as the "king of kings." He is said to be the "head of gold"; he is the very best.
When we look at this man’s behavior, it does not sound very positive. We read: "Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king" (Daniel 2:2). The problem is that he did not tell his dream, he forgot, so the scientists, prognosticators and advisers answered: "Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation" (verse 4). This upset him even more: "The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill" (verse 5).
The advisers, scientists and prognosticators tried to reason: "And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh" (verse 11).
That did it for the king: "For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon" (verse 12). This is unreasonable behavior for any human being, yet the Word of God honors Nebuchadnezzar as the greatest, the best, the gold.
In contrast to Nebuchadnezzar, the Bible reveals that the greatest abomination will be the final heathen superpower. It will be far worse when global democracy rules.
Who would you vote for King Nebuchadnezzar or President George Bush?
The Last Superpower Identity
What is this fourth heathen superpower? It is the one that ruled from the time Jesus was born, He died, arose and ascended into heaven, and it is the same final heathen superpower that will rule the world when Jesus returns.
This is evident from Daniel 9:26-27: "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." That is the last superpower and there is nothing positive about it.
In light of these biblical facts, we are forced to conclude that democracy, the type of freedom we think we have, and the so-called free market economy are quite contrary to God’s intention. They stand in direct opposition to God’s plan to establish His Kingdom on planet Earth. With this in mind, the popular slogans like "We are fighting for freedom and democracy" sound rather shallow.
I must come to the conclusion that we are living in the worst time ever. Our society has been preprogrammed to follow in the footsteps of the evil one, the father of lies, the Antichrist. Romans 3:23 destroys all the nations self-glorification: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." The Bible says our righteousness "are as filthy rags"(Isaiah 64:6). That, of course, is an outright insult to today’s modern man, who believes he is so refined and that the good in him is being developed to the level of self-redemption. Only those who have spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see will recognize that self-glorification is the road to success and is being offered by the overwhelming majority of our churches today. We almost can hear the words of Revelation 3:17: "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." But the Church is supposed to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Yet today she has become a political and economic powerhouse to be reckoned with.
Rome: Alive and Well
We may have to re-adjust our mindset, which has been taught that Rome was an empire, it fell and somehow in the distant future the Roman Empire will be resurrected; thus, the repetitious claim that the European Union is the new Roman Empire.
To that I would answer, Rome was, Rome is and Rome will remain until our Lord Jesus comes in great power and glory and will "brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold."
Israel’s Coming Integration
Before we further analyze the last Gentile superpower, we must highlight another distinct and diverse item in the composition of the fourth power structure: the inclusion of clay: "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay" (Daniel 2:33). You cannot mix oil with water, and you cannot mix clay with iron. So what does the clay represent?
Daniel 2:43 provides a clue: "And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." Who are these people who "mingle themselves with the seed of men?" What is the seed of man? Doubtless, the seed of man is flesh and blood. It represents the entire world. The Bible says that flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It may be interesting to realize that the "flesh-and-blood-gospel," the one that caters to you, wants you to be happy, healthy and wealthy, is literally conquering Churchianity.
So the seed of man are the people of the world and this group, which is called "miry clay," is not supposed to mingle with the people of the world. The Jews are the only ones who have been instructed by God not to mingle with the nations of the world. They have miraculously retained their identity for thousands of years despite being separated, segregated, persecuted and slaughtered by the millions during the Holocaust.
These people are the only ones on the face of the earth who are distinctly different because God chose them to be His own. Here are just a few Scriptures to document this fact:
"For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for" (Deuteronomy 4:7). Incidentally Israel is the only nation that can justifiably say "We are the greatest nation on the face of the earth."
What about Deuteronomy 14:2: "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." Another Scripture that is yet to be fulfilled: "For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee" (Deuteronomy 15:6).
Who is the clay? Jeremiah 18:6 answers: "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." The God of heaven is forming Israel for Himself as does a potter forms the clay. But Israel refuses to be chosen or different, they would much rather be Gentiles than Jews. That is Israel’s great tragedy: they refuse to be God’s chosen people.
We Want To Be Gentiles
We read about Israel’s rebellion against God when they confronted Samuel the prophet: "And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5). Note the key expression: "like all the nations."
Samuel pleaded with the people, told them they would be taxed, would have to serve the king, and listed many of the other disadvantages of having a king, yet the people stubbornly insisted: "Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:19-20a).
Israel does not want to be chosen. The Jews have no interest or desire to be God’s people; they would rather be just like the world.
What a picture of the Church! The Church has become worldly and the world has become churchy. Success on earth seems to be the goal of many believers. After all, who wants to be despised or rejected? Who wants to fit into the category the Apostle Paul described in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28? "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." Can you imagine naming a church "The Church of Foolish Things," or "The Assembly of the Weak"? What about "The Fellowship of the Despised"? That doesn’t fit into the general philosophy of Churchianity, which desires health, wealth and power here and now.
Israel sealed its fate when the Jews publicly declared, "We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15).
It is interesting to read Israel’s Declaration of Independence of 14 May 1948, in which "Palestine" is repeated nine times, and in which one paragraph states: "This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own sovereign State." Again we read the words, "a nation, as all other nations."
The Declaration further states: "We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of its State and to admit Israel into the family of nations." Israel’s desire to be a part of the Gentile world is clearly expressed. They want to become part of the family of Gentile nations.
The Jews will do virtually anything in order to achieve some kind of peace with their Arab neighbors and the Arab Palestinians who live in Israel. But nothing has worked, they have experienced one tragedy after another.
Only one power structure is capable of bringing peace and security to Israel, and that is the European Union. According to my understanding of Bible prophecy, Israel will eventually be accepted as a member in the EU and their problems will be solved instantaneously. But that will only be temporarily for the peace created through European Union initiatives is not the peace that God has promised to establish. It is a false peace that will lead to the greatest catastrophe in human history and will climax with the Great Tribulation.
The Five Roman Continents
>From a biblical perspective, Rome is the final Gentile superpower. But this is not limited to the city of Rome, the country of Italy or the European continent. The Bible clearly identifies it as being the entire world.
To understand this important issue lets analyze planet Earth in simple terms. Only three continents are mentioned in Scripture – Europe, Asia and Africa. All people find their identity in one of these three continents.
America and Australia have been added to the list. They are a product of Europe. European powers colonized the continent, established the infrastructure and, in most cases, each colony became an independent sovereign nation. In general, these new countries were clones of the old ones. Each newly founded nation adopted the language, culture and tradition of their former colonial master nation, thus, the people of the American continents speak four major languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese and French.
Let’s take a closer look at European dominion of the world’s five continents:
West of Europe lies America, the continent discovered by Roman Catholic Jew, Christopher Columbus. Spain claimed this land in the name of the Roman church. Today, the population is overwhelmingly comprised of European descendants. The establishment of the various countries on that continent followed in Rome’s footsteps. For example, the supreme council of ancient Rome was called the Senate. This same system is used today in Italy, France, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, the United States and Canada, just to name a few.
If we analyzed such nations as Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, and others, we would find that they are also based upon the principles of Western European civilization. Again, we must point out that much of Asia was colonialized by European powers. Although World War I ended colonialism, their work and intellectual property was left behind.
The infrastructure of these nations are based upon the fundamental European principles.
India, the world’s largest democracy, was a British creation. Although they have tried to establish Hindi as its national language, English is still the language used to communicate in India. Indians, whose mother tongue is not Hindi, but Bengali, Gujarat, Kashmiri, Telugu, Sanskrit, and an additional 1652 dialects, refuse to accept Hindi as their native language thus, they must communicate in English!
Africa is located south of Europe, and is saturated with European culture. At one time or another virtually all African nations were European colonies. Thus, Africa’s intellectual property actually belongs to Europe. Contrary to Asians who documented their history in detail, only the northern part of Africa developed writing skills. Europeans have documented in their annals the history of Africa and it can be found in the libraries of European nations. Therefore, Africa had to start from scratch and had no tools to communicate their culture or history on their own. Therefore, Africa comes under the jurisdiction of the spirit of Rome.
Southern European countries view Africa as a neglected continent. European Union members would like to see African nations brought into the fold. Mediterranean nations have long complained that the Union is facing the wrong way.
They claim that while it focuses its attention on Eastern Europe, a much greater threat looms from the South. They argue that unless Europe acts, Islamic fundamentalists will seize power in the North African countries which will unleash a wave of emigration.
Meanwhile, this has become painfully true for Europeans, particularly the French, who experienced a rather embarrassing rebellion of poor African immigrants. The following article appeared in the 9 March 1995 issue of The European:
“Will the southern governments succeed in persuading their northern E.U. partners to allocate more E.U. resources to the troubled Muslim nations of the Maghreb – Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia – across the new fault line that has replaced the Iron Curtain? Their aim is to persuade the E.U. to provide aid to develop industries in the Maghreb countries so that prosperity will reduce both emigration to Europe and support for fundamentalism.”
More and more Europeans are recognizing their responsibility and the danger of neglecting northern African nations. Islamic fundamentalism has become one of the world’s major security risks, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. But Muslims will not adhere to any dictate. A religious compromise must be found. That can only be achieved through the Vatican. Again we see Rome and its global influence!
This abbreviated overview should reinforce the fact that the fourth beast or the fourth kingdom is indeed in charge of "the whole earth" as recorded in Daniel 7:23.
We must also mention that only Europe had and still has the financial power and intellectual capacity to successfully establish colonies all over the world. This cannot be said about any other group of people. After all, American Indians didn’t establish colonies in Europe nor did the Chinese claim the continent of Australia. Europe conquered the world by itself.
The European Dream
We have already seen that all American nations (North and South) are part of the European power structure and they are a product of Europe. However, we must add a few things because so much material is being published that indicates the United States will dominate the world. Here is a helpful article from page 17 of the October 6, 2004 issue of The Financial Times:
It is tempting to dismiss Jeremy Rifkin as yet another practitioner of ‘futurology’. As president of the Washington-based Foundation on Economic Trends, he has recently proclaimed the promise of hydrogen power, the disappearance of work, the sanctity of animal rights and the advent of a global network society. Now comes the European Dream.
But sometimes even futurologists get it right. Just when Europe is being dismissed as a power in terminal decline, Rifkin advances a compelling case for its ascendancy. ‘While the American Spirit is tiring and languishing in the past,’ Rifkin proclaims, ‘A new European Dream is being born.’ Against America, Europe ‘emphasizes community relationships over individual autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over the accumulation of wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, and, most of all, universal human rights.’
European egalitarianism manifests itself most clearly in the social welfare state. Each European is guaranteed a minimum standard of living, not just in cash, but through daycare, unemployment insurance, pensions and healthcare – all far from universal in America. Greater social redistribution and infrastructure permits poorer Europeans to lead a more balanced life. Rifkin rightly notes that Europeans’ broad conception of human rights, encompassing socioeconomic, cultural and environmental entitlements, is far more attractive than the narrower American conception of human rights as political liberties.
‘Whereas Americans define freedom as autonomy and mobility, which requires amassing wealth,’ Rifkin observes, ‘Europeans define freedom in community – in belonging, not belongings.’ Europeans make time for culture. Americans who view ‘idleness to be almost a sin, like sloth,’ now work on average 10 weeks more per year than Germans, five weeks more than Britons – more even than the famously workaholic Japanese. This European concern for cultural diversity is likely to resonate across the developing world.
Europeans remain the strongest proponents of universal human rights and the European Union is a multilateral model for the glove, making Europe more attractive to a generation ‘anxious to be globally connected and at the same time locally embedded.’
The European Dream should be required reading on both sides of the Atlantic. To Americans it sounds the alarm. At the height of the supposed unipolar dominance of the US, fewer and fewer foreigners view it as an attractive model for constitutions, companies or communities. To Europeans, Rifkin issues the challenge of global leadership. Europe is really ‘best positioned between the extreme individualism of America and the extreme collectivism of Asia to lead the way into the new age.’
The New Global Model
The key to understanding the potential model for the global world can be summed up with one word, "poverty."
The question regarding military power has become less significant. Times have changed. Conflicts were settled by war, but this is no longer valid. Today the war is against poverty.
When I return from one of my travels, my wife usually asks, "Is it a rich country or poor country?" My standard answer is "All countries are rich, the question is how many poor people live there?" This important question must be resolved. Again, Europe is in the forefront. Among the old member nations, poverty has virtually been eradicated. In order to have the whole world praise the accomplishments of the Antichrist, the world must be educated and properly prepared to participate in the success of the last Gentile superpower. People who live in poverty are not happy, they need food, shelter, clothing, education and medical service.
It doesn’t help that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world because he doesn’t pay my utility bills nor does he put bread on my table, therefore, a country’s wealth is insignificant. The real question is: How well off are the citizens? Here we see a model develop that takes care of all citizens on all levels of society, who are entitled to receive food, shelter, clothing, education and healthcare. Viewed from that level, the world strives to reach that goal. Everyone wants to eliminate poverty. The motto of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. states: "Our dream is a world without poverty."
It is generally agreed that poverty is a breeding place for insecurity and crime. During our recent conference in Brazil, I was told that more than 35 percent of Brazilian citizens live in poverty, which means Brazil has a high-rate of crime. In contrast, the United States registers a 13.2 percent poverty rate, and has a much lower crime rate than does Brazil. But compared with progressive European countries, crime is dramatically reduced due to virtually no poverty.
As mentioned, people want to rid the world of poverty. Unfortunately, a price has to be paid for that to happen. Here again, Europe is the undisputed leader of the world. European Union nations supply the world with 60 percent of foreign aid while the United States ranks 20th with only 12.4 percent.
Although foreign aid may not be the biggest issue in the world, we must realize that generosity builds friends, develops understanding and furthers better relations, thus Europe is considered a benevolent continent capable of effectively assisting aspiring countries.
It may be of interest to know that the most generous countries in the world are located in northern Europe: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It’s also noteworthy that these countries have the lowest crime rate and have virtually eradicated poverty among their people.
How to Achieve the Goals
What can we expect to transpire in the near future in order to accommodate a truly global world? Here I’d like to highlight four points:
1) Political - There must be a general consensus among all leaders that only one viable system can produce peace and security, and that is democracy.
2) Economy – All are familiar with the concept of global economy. To a large extent, national borders are being overbridged by globalism. This non-specific defined system of economics is taking hold of planet Earth.
3) Military – Particularly in the industrial world, with the exception of the United States, military has been substantially reduced since World War II. Most of the progressive nations view military power as being less of a priority.
4) Religion – The power of the office of the world’s largest religion has demonstrated the desire for religious unity of all people on planet Earth, based on Roman doctrines led by the pope of Rome.
Political: A book written by Samuel J. Andrews entitled Christianity and Anti-Christianity in their Final Conflict, copyright 1898, shows the progressive power of democracy:
The multitude is made familiar with its principles through magazines and newspapers, through lectures and the pulpit. Its prevalence is shown in the rapidity with which such systems as those of Christian Science, Mental Science, Theosophy, and others kindred to them, have spread in Christian communities, for all have Pantheistic basis. The moral atmosphere is full of its spirit, and many are affected by it unawares. What shall we say of its diffusion in the future? To judge of this we must look upon its spread from another point of view, and consider its affinity with Democracy.
It is not to be questioned that social and political conditions have much influence in molding religious opinions, and we assume that the democratic spirit will rule the future. What kind of religious influence is Democracy adapted to exert? In what direction does the democratic current run?
Among the different systems, by whose aid philosophy endeavours to explain the universe, I believe Pantheism to be one of those most fitted to seduce the human mind in democratic ages.
More and more all sovereigns and rulers are eager to learn what the wishes of their people are, and careful not to set themselves in direct opposition to them, but all rulers, hereditary or elected, are made more and more to feel themselves the servants of the people.
This growth of Democracy serves to prepare the way of the Antichrist by making the popular will supreme, both as to the choice of the rulers and the nature and extent of their rule; and by giving legal expression to that will. When a people elects its legislators, the legislation will be what the majority of the voters demand (page 254, 265).
Democracy is today’s unchallenged supreme political philosophy and is loudly proclaimed by politicians as the remedy for all nations.
We must add here that there are different levels of democracy. For example, we know that under communism people had the right to vote, but only yes or no. In most Arab nations that claim to practice democracy there is usually only one party representing the government. In more developed democracies such as the United States are two parties, thus the choice is limited. The freest countries in the world are represented by multiple parties, and are forced to compromise with different parties in order to form a functioning coalition government. This is vividly demonstrated in the little country of Israel where the rule of one political party is virtually out of the question.
Switzerland, the highest developed democracy in the world is presently governed by five different parties. Contrary to the United States, where people elect representatives, and leave it up to the politician to represent their wishes, the Swiss are being asked directly to decide on any important issue that faces their nation.
It is important to point out, however, that all democracies incorporate socialism, communism, environmentalism and numerous other political philosophies. Each retains its own identity but are integrated in the general consensus of democracy whereby the government, based on Roman principles, is ruled by the people, for the people.
Not much needs to be said about economy. Everyone is familiar with the globalization that has erased national and sovereign borders.
An example may help to illustrate the in case in point: During the Reagan Administration, U.S. citizens were urged to buy only products that were made in America. A reporter challenged the President by asking: "Is Toyota a Japanese car, since 70 percent of it is built in the U.S.A., and is the Chevrolet a Canadian car since 60 percent of it is built in Canada?"
The global economy is made up of various levels of restricted, partially free and partly dictated economic policies. Although we hear much about free trade, there is no such thing. Every single aspect of the economy must be negotiated, approved or rejected by the authority of the prevailing government. You will not get too far if you produce a product and try to put it on the market. You need to have the proper license for your product. It must first be approved. Depending on the type of product, it must correspond with public safety and environmental standards. If you wish to export this product, you will find seemingly insurmountable obstacles regarding international laws, by-laws and agreements with various nations. So when we hear about "free trade" remember it’s only a term, because there is no such thing as free trade.
Even under the auspices of capitalism, it is not too free when we take a closer look. For example, consider the U.S. agricultural industry. It is supposed to be a true capitalist system that produces products and sells them. Such simple analysis are far from the truth. Farmers would have an extremely difficult time existing without government regulations and massive subsidiaries. A recent report showed that over $600 million dollars will be paid by the government to subsidize South Carolina tobacco farmers over the next five years. European agricultural subsidies are even higher. Ironic in this entire matter is the states that practice agricultural subsidy are the most successful in the world. Strangely enough, the African farm community practices true capitalism. The farmer plants what he wants without any regulations and, as we all know, the result is catastrophic. One just wonders how a non-subsidized, non-controlled agricultural industry will function in the future.
A gigantic battle is being fought between Europe’s Airbus and the United States Boeing Corporation. Each accuses the other of taking advantage of government subsidies.
It would shock most of us to learn that the majority of our successful business ventures receive subsidies in the form of tax reductions, research grants and numerous other hidden payments, and that in the name of free market economy.
One potential enemy had been done away with the fall of the Soviet Union, therefore, military power becomes less significant. Looking at the achievement of disarmament during the last two or three decades, one can see the tremendous reduction in weaponry and armed forces throughout the world. After all, it has become unthinkable if not outright impossible to imagine that Canada would attack the United States or France would invade England. Those days are history.
We must add here that military activity is now closely tied to the economic picture. Virtually any attack on any country would greatly upset those economies involved and literally affect the entire world.
China, the world’s largest populated nation, is ruled by communism yet China is the largest U.S. supporter, even underwriting American debt by buying an immense volume of U.S. Savings Bonds. Ironic, isn’t it? Communism is supporting capitalism!
The most significant amalgamation of powers take place in the invisible world and manifested through religious activity. Again, the power structure is centered in Rome. When Pope John Paul died, virtually every leader from the entire world traveled to Rome to pay respect to the man of peace, the pope of Rome, the leader of the Catholic Church.
There is so much material available that documents the fact that world religions are in the process of uniting.
Does that mean Muslims will become Christians or Christians will convert to Hinduism? That is not necessary. Individual religions can retain their identity, but all will eventually have to come under the umbrella of one because prophecy declares: "And all that dwell upon the earths shall worship him" (Revelation 13:8).
Just as the European states retained its identity, the culture, custom, tradition, and language endorsed and supported by the European Union, and so will religion.
Here is what was written in the Catholic News Service: The April 8 funeral of Pope John Paul II may have marked his last diplomatic coup when more than 200 heads of state and government delegates – some bitter adversaries – came together to pay their last respects.
U.S. President George W. Bush was just yards away from President Mohammed Khatami of Iran, a country he has labeled part of an "axis of evil." Khatami, who met with the pope in 1999, said the April 8 gathering should be a springboard for peace…
"The presence of such high-level world figures demonstrates the world’s respect for the pope," Khatami said: "I wish this day could be a moment that makes us hope for a future of peace, not of conflict and hostility."
Representatives of troubled neighbors – India and Pakistan as well as Israel and the Palestinian National Authority – were seated in the same section reserved for heads of state in St. Peter’s Square.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurela were among the political leaders there who had met with the pope and, at times, had been praised and reproved by him…John Paul’s funeral gave the world’s leaders the opportunity for a fresh start. A senior Vatican official told reporters that the funeral gave these leaders a sense of freedom. They were not afraid that people would read their actions politically.
“I saw Israelis, Muslims who greeted each other with gestures of affection,” he said.
When we realize the significance of these things - politics, economy, military and religion - and read it in the light of Revelation 13, we understand that we are in the midst of the final preparation for the manifestation of the last Gentile superpower.
Here is the report of John the Revelator: "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (Revelation 13:3). This shows that humanity is following a man. They want and desire a physical god, thus "the world wondered after the beast."
Verse 4 adds: "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" Doubtless, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and numerous others will worship the beast. It is obvious that he is also the last military ruler because no opposition is found against him: "who is able to make war with him."
Total economic dominance and control is part of the amazing success of the last Gentile superpower, and that is documented in Revelation 13:16-17: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
We’d have to be blind to deny that the development towards these goals are not in the works today. Indeed, it is much later than we may think.
In addition to the fundamentals of politics, economy, military and religion that must be taken care of to create a truly global family of nations, there is one word that needs to be taken notice of in particular: freedom.
What is freedom? It is definitely not what we think of or have been fed through the respective governments propaganda machine.
For example: After a 60-year absence from my birthplace in East Germany, which is today’s Lithuania, I met four of my cousins who remained in that little fishing village since their births. They were educated under the auspices of the Soviet Union. They still live on the same property their parents had owned and needless to say we had some lively discussions. To my surprise they stated that freedom came to an end when the Soviet Union collapsed and they wished the Soviet Union was back in power. They defined freedom as security. I was quite surprised by their answer, thinking that with the fall of the Soviet Union the word "freedom" would have taken on quite a different meaning.
I quickly and once again learned that my conception of freedom cannot be forced upon another person’s understanding and appreciation of what freedom means to another person.
My brother worked in construction in West Germany until he retired at the age of 58. "Freedom," he said, "is when I sit in an airplane going on vacation. That is freedom for me."
So what is freedom? In general, we can determine that freedom is when we may do, go and say what we please. That’s probably the case when we are at home. Of course, we are still subject to our spouses, children or others who live in our homes. Thus, freedom would be restricted due to your relationship with the other person. That takes care of about one-third of our lives. The other third is spending time sleeping and we all agree, nobody can tell us how to sleep.
Another third of our lives are spent working. Now we see a problem, we cannot do or say what we please while at work. We are in restricted area, subject to the laws, by-laws, regulations of the workplace under the supervision of the person we call "boss." That’s the point where freedom ends. Now I must do what I am told. I must go where I am ordered to go, and I must only say that which I am allowed to say. Therefore, freedom ceases to exist.
The next question is quite natural: Who has more freedom and who has less? Once again, we must look to Europe where we will see that no other continent offers so much free- 32 dom to their workforce than they do. Freedom time is not work, it’s vacation. Europe has a unionized workforce, and in most countries there is a minimum six weeks of freedom time. That is extremely generous and not to be compared with any other nation in the world.
Here is an example from German Weekly News Magazine Focus.
Since the reunification of Germany, an amazing volume of unsolicited advice has come our way. We are advised in detail how to deal with unemployment, re-write our "complicated" labor laws, improve the economy, and many other issues that face the German people.
Reunification however is unique. We literally had to buy, the whole nation of East Germany (18,000,000 people). They never paid one penny in our admittedly complicated tax system, nor was any fees paid for unemployment, health care, welfare, retirement, just to name a few. One does not need a PHD in finances to realize that the government coffers were depleted. Thus, contributing towards the slow down of the economy subsequently increase in unemployment.
The issue I wish to highlight however is the constant and unjustified criticism of our "complicated" labor laws. We are urged to modernize our labor force in the direction of globalism. In brief: The cost of labor is far too high. Our holidays are to many, sick pay too generous, and job security is outmoded. We are repeatedly told that our ills, exhibited in high unemployment and extremely low economic growth are due to a spoiled work force.
Permit me to present my point of view in this matter. Yes, it is true that our’s and a few other European nations are the most expensive in the world. Also it is true that we enjoy more holidays than anyone else and our health care system permits us to take additional days, even weeks off work.
But please don’t overlook the result. In spite of our expensive work force, we are manufacturing products unmatched by the rest of the world.
While the medium and their low cost labor countries have difficulties selling their products we don’t. Their balance of trade is virtually always in the red. Not ours. Our export supercedes our import, clearly demonstrating that the nations of the world do want quality union made products. The medium and low labor cost nations simply cannot compete with the well rested, properly compensated unionized work force. Our balance of payment is in our favor and external debt is zero.
When you compare these facts with other nations whose labor force is mainly non-union, their balance of payment is in the red and some are literally drowning in external debt.
In summary, facts and figures show that our products, manufactured by free, unionized people need not to fear medium and low paid work force nations. Therefore, the attempt to fix our "complicated" labor laws is definitely counter productive.
Freedom is one of the most important ingredients for the success of the Antichrist. Not only is he praised and adored, but he is also worshipped by the people the world over: "and all the world wandered after the beast…and they worshipped the beast saying, who is like unto the beast, who is able to make war with him…and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him" (Revelation 13:3-4,8).
Doubtless, he will be the most popular person on earth, the great benevolent leader who gives freedom to all people. This cannot be accomplished with the barrel of a gun, bombs or tanks. This is done by deception, which must be positive and beneficial to the individual before it can take effect.
But in the end, we will see the entire world lament, and wail when Mystery Babylon will be destroyed: "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:3).
There’s not a doubt in my mind that the Roman system is making planet Earth rich. We also note that the European Union does not need to use force in order to bring about democracy, but nations are standing in line with their applications in hand, begging for admission into this prestigious club.
That is the Last Gentile Superpower!