Significant prophetic events are unfolding in Europe. You should be concerned. What's going to happen in the debt-ridden members of the Eurozone? Will the entire system collapse and come crashing down?
In hope, they look to Germany. But how will Germany react to political, economic and even religious pressure?
The question is: Will real leadership emerge to rescue Europe?
Bible prophecy does indicate what lies on the horizon for the European Union. This will affect your life and potentially your faith. But how? Can you escape what's to come?
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine "Europe: Bracing for the Beast!"
Misguided leadership has always been an issue for mankind throughout time. It was an issue in most ancient times and it remains an issue today.
Bible prophecy tells us that the lack of strong leadership will open the door to a coming frightening power described as "the Beast." This menacing political leader will likely emerge on the world scene at a time of seemingly unsolvable crisis.
But how important is leadership? Several people we spoke to voiced their perspective and concerns about the importance of leaders today.
[Person 1] It is very important because everybody will follow what the leader does.
[Person 2] It absolutely is important. I mean you look at the state of our nation and what leadership is or what leadership is not. Leadership is about influence and it's up to all of us to be a good influence in what we are doing.
[Person 3] Without leaders who comes up with all the great ideas, right?
[Steve] Where do we turn to find the great ideas? Europe and the world face what seems to be an insurmountable debt crisis. Who can solve the problem? Today's world leaders hold meeting after meeting, conference after conference to discuss the issues. But the problems persist. It's like the carousel. It can only go in one direction - round and round and round.
So who'll solve the unemployment problem? What leader will step up to unravel the economic problems?
Europe faces potential bank failures and hyperinflation. The world economy could fall apart with massive unemployment. And the result? Social unrest, instability, conflict.
So imagine yourself. You're faced with no hope of a job. What if you had to worry whether there'd be food on the table? In that scenario, would you support someone who had more radical views and make extreme choices in hopes that the problems of those complex circumstances could be solved?
Could a leader really have a decisive effect? Could they even change the way that you think?
[Person 4] Yeah, they could yeah. I'd say they would.
[Person 3] They can change the way you think for the good or the way you think for the bad.
[Steve] So which will it be? For the good or for the bad? History tells us that despairing people make desperate choices. When Europe was challenged in the past, there were major consequences throughout the world.
Not all that long ago, Adolf Hitler acquired the power, the support and the heart of the people. As early as 1925 he ran for elected office backed by the Nazi party. In the good times of the 20s the voters soundly rejected him.
But, by the beginning of the Great Depression the economy plummeted. Because of the difficult times, the German people were more open to extreme tactics to deal with the severe economic troubles that were emerging.
By enticing the voters, Hitler convinced them that he and his party could solve their problems and restore Germany to its rightful place of power within Europe. So by a legitimate ballot of the people, Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic in January 1933. With the power of charisma, persuasive flattery and alluring arguments, he came into authority peacefully.
But you know, that wasn't enough. Hitler quickly set out to take complete power. He was a master, a master at clever maneuvering, an expert at manipulating people and manipulating events. So under the appearance of protecting the people and the state, he slyly managed to suspend individual and civil liberties.
Incredibly, by March of that year, parliament actually gave up control of the budget. They gave up approval of the treaties and they gave up the power of legislation to Hitler and his cabinet. He became the undisputed Fuhrer, the absolute ruler, all within just 60 days from being first elected to office.
A despicable man was given honor, and respect and admiration. He seized the control of the German nation and within just a few short years, one of Europe's most cultured, most civilized nations used its resources to plunge the world into war and holocaust.
It sounds hauntingly similar to Daniel:11:21: "And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue."
But this could never happen today! Not in our modern political world. Wouldn't democracy ensure stability and hasn't history taught us the lesson? Could it happen again?
[Person 5] No I don't think to that scale. I don't think, I don't believe that it will ever get to that scale again.
[Person 1] It can be done anywhere in the world, anywhere.
[Person 6] Our nation and the world is actually coming together for the better.
[Person 7] Oooh, let's pray to God no. Oh I hope not. I hope never, ever again. You know, that's...never anyone like Hitler was, ever.
[Steve] Never again? But what might take place if your way of life were threatened with collapse? Could you put your hope, could you put your confidence in someone that promised to bring prosperity and to save your lifestyle?
The answer is yes! It could easily come about, and actually, it will happen. A persuasive leader will emerge on the world scene. The Bible calls him the Beast. And God compares him to a ferocious wild animal with sinister intent. And he's coming! He's coming on the world scene and has powerful help from unseen, evil spiritual forces.
Revelation 13 describes this imminent situation. The chapter begins by a description of that wild animal - an unusual beast - a government and its leader. It was a monster having seven heads and 10 horns each with a crown rising up out of a sea (verse 1). And on each of this beast's heads was a name that blasphemed God (verse 2) (Revelation13:1-2).
You see this Beast derives its power, its "great authority" (verse 2) from the dragon, who is identified in chapter 12 of Revelation as the devil and Satan (Revelation:12:8). So this wild animal, this Beast is not only a political empire - a kingdom - but also a cruel emperor who rules over it.
The 10 horns, they represent 10 kings who in order to help solve this world crisis, give their power and give their authority to the Beast (Revelation:17:12-13). So perhaps some event, some event that threatens world order, some predicament, some emergency will trigger this rise to power when no one else seems to have the solution.
This one supreme leader will be idolized; idolized as the chosen one. The ultimate leader, who can bring order among the nations and ensure global prosperity. In fact prophecy says in chapter 13, verse 7 that he is "given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation" - talk about allure. Talk about magnetism and charisma! The people will be in awe of him and worship and adore him (verses 4, 8). And no wonder! He is assisted by the "rulers of the darkness of this age." He will rise to god-like status.
You see God says that will happen. And looking back to Hitler, we know it happened back then and it can happen again. History records it. Bible prophecy predicts that it will.
I want you to know what will happen to you so you can prepare yourself for this inevitable event. I don't want you to be caught unaware! So please let me send you our Bible study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled .
This booklet will help you sort out the strange images and the symbolism of prophecy that are coming. Revelation the book doesn't have to be a confusing book.
This helpful study aid will get you through and help you to understand the things that are coming. The meaning, the seven trumpets, Armageddon, the Day of the Lord, all of those things will come clear.
So go online to BeyondToday.tv to read or download The Book of Revelation Unveiled or request your free copy by calling toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632.
The Book of Revelation Unveiled will help you understand the incredible truth about your future and actually the hope that lies ahead.
This booklet is also available as a free download in the iBookstore.
There is no doubt that the Bible is relevant for us today. The prophecy of the Beast of Revelation 13, it gives insight into world events that lie just ahead. Unlikely as it may seem, the day will soon come that, when circumstances that will come about will bring this ultimate dictator who will stand out with impressive ideas. He'll have remarkable talent and he'll lead a whole group of nations. Our present world order, it cannot continue indefinitely. A tyrant can and will gain control. It happened before and it will happen again but on an even larger scale:
[Person 1] And then all of a sudden that person says alright this is what you're gonna do. And you're not gonna vote on it. You're not gonna have any choice with it. This is how it's gonna go. So yes, you can have dictatorships. It just depends on how much power you have, and what type of power you have with the like army or military behind you; and if you have them behind you, you can do almost anything you want.
[Person 8] Yeah you can have somebody like that in the future - the Bible says that, if you believe that.
[Steve] You can believe that. There will be unprecedented captivating leadership that will astound the world. Revelation 13 verse 1. It states the apostle John "stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his horns 10 crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name."
This is not just talking about some occurrence that happened in the first century. Did you know that this symbolism predicts a coming government power and it identifies Europe as an extension of the Roman Empire? Now here's the connection: The Roman emperors were called divus or sebastos. These were expressions that signified divinity because they claimed to be gods.
Now during Roman Empire, during Nero's reign, coins were minted with the phrase identifying him "Savior of the world."
At the time the book of Revelation was most likely written, the emperor was probably Domitian. He was addressed as Dominus et Deus noster which meant "Our Lord and God" (Suetonius, Domitian 13). You see accepting these titles is blasphemous because only God is divine. Only Jesus is Savior. This wicked, sacrilegious use of these names expose their attempt to claim for themselves the glory and the majesty that belong to God alone. And there's a future connection as well. You see the Roman Empire and its emperors, considered themselves to be a kind of savior to the world. Yet how did they govern? They ruled unjustly. They ruled with an iron first. They usurped godly authority and persecuted God's true Church.
The people of the empire worshipped the emperor. They wanted to be seen as loyal supporters of Rome. They passed the Roman dictator and praised him as Lord and deity because they were obligated to the empire for their prosperity, for their protection. So it also represents what's coming. It points to a future fulfillment.
You see in verse 3 it says, "And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast."
You see, this points to the Roman Empire being healed, and raising back to prominence in our time. Now we'll talk about this a little bit more when we talk with our panel just ahead.
So here in verse 4 it goes on and says, "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?'"
So you see this end time dictator, what lies just ahead, will be no different than this terrible circumstance that will be fulfilled in the last days. This cult of the emperor that we saw the beginnings in Rome will be worshipped once again - this Beast power with blasphemous devotion. People will honor it and the world will be enamored with this new European Empire being reborn and being healed to a now astounding, world-ruling power. This restored Beast as a dictator and as a government will inspire awe throughout the world. So Hitler will pale by comparison.
You see there is a warning. There is a warning for all of us: Don't be fooled into worshipping the Beast along with the people of the world. You see instead, we must worship God.
Now there's much more to discuss on this topic. In fact we're going to be discussing that with our Beyond Today panel. We'll talk about how you can protect yourself from the coming Beast power.
But first let me tell you about our magazine, The Good News. The Good News is packed full of information that gives insight into today's news as it relates to what the Bible teaches. You'll find interesting articles, not only on prophecy but also Christian living - all with biblical insight.
That's why you need your free subscription to The Good News. Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632.
Don't forget to visit us on the Web at BeyondToday.tv and order your subscription. If you have an iPad, we now have an app that allows you to download The Good News right to the Newsstand on your iPad. Do a search for The Good News in the App store .
The Good News will help you put our changing world into perspective, examining world events in the light of your Bible. So get your free subscription today.
Another important reason to visit our BeyondToday.tv website is to see BT Daily . BT Daily's are short daily videos on breaking news and important Bible topics. You'll want to hear about these topics. So join us throughout the week for inspiration, for encouragement and additional biblical insight to help you better understand life. Go to BeyondToday.tv . Send us your questions and comments and don't miss our video blog: BT Daily .
Now we've been discussing the Beast of Revelation 13 and its symbolism and reality. I'm joined right now by fellow hosts, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty. And so as we discuss this topic many may be concerned of this connection that we've made between the Beast in Revelation 13 and Europe. Now, why is it that we can make that assumption? Does Revelation 13 really point to Europe?
[Gary] Well, Steve what you have to do is you look at the Beast and Revelation 13, Revelation 17, they're building blocks and they don't start there. There's actually a template to build off of.
[Steve] So that's just not a standalone?
[Gary] That's right. That's not where you start. You start in Daniel 2 where we have a prophecy about four great kingdoms. And we've talked about that before on Beyond Today . But the fourth of those great kingdoms is the Roman Empire and when you get to Revelation, that's the last of those four of the great kingdoms. And that fourth one was going to be resurrected, revived in the future. So that's how you come to that conclusion about Europe.
[Steve] And in a way that's how that ties in with that wounded head...
[Steve]...that we talked about earlier.
[Darris] Yes, and there's really no other region of the world to look to but Europe for these prophecies and a fulfillment there, at least the core for the fulfillment to be there because the history of Christianity is wrapped up within Europe. As Gary mentions, Rome fell and out of that you had the entire preservation of Christendom coming in and developing out of revivals of that Roman Empire and connected with church history through the European experience. There was no other place or region in the world to look to in history and in time but on that continent for such an event to take place.
[Steve] So when you look at that connection between Europe and even that section that we read about worship...
[Steve]…there's a commonality between those things that are in the past as well.
[Darris] Right, because those leaders of the various political restorations of this Roman system that developed through the centuries were always working in tandem with the church. In fact the leaders such as Charlemagne or Napoleon were crowned by the Pope at Rome. And so you have that system that was always working together there within Europe and there's just no question as to where to look.
[Steve] So there's no separating those two things. I think it's in, is it Revelation 17 where it talks about that woman riding the Beast. That there is this connection between religion and political power and you really can't separate it. It's not a separation of church and state when you look at that resurrected Roman Empire. '
[Gary] No in fact the present state in Europe where there is a separation of church and state which has come out of the Enlightenment is not the normal state for Europe. Throughout Europe - and you were talking about Charlemagne - it actually started with Charlemagne where the pope crowned him, and when you look at western civilization the right of kings, the divine right of kings to rule was given to them by the church. And for centuries and centuries that's where they got their power from was the kings and the church worked together. Now that's not the way it is now but that's the European roots and that's what's going to go back to in the future so that you have this bringing together again. The woman of course of Revelation 17 is symbolic of the church.
[Darris] Yeah Gary is right. What we see today is an anomaly because historically they were always working in tandem. In fact, the late Pope John Paul II tried in vain, but he did try, to get an inclusion into the preamble of the current European Union's constitution a reference to Europe's Christian roots. They would not put it in because they wished to keep the separation. But he lobbied very strongly to get that done because it is a historical reality.
[Steve] So, when you look at that, this is unusual. This is an unusual time that we live in but at the same time I think many would look at the historical situation that we're in now and say well, we're not going to go back to that. There can't be a dictatorship. We've learned the lessons of history, haven't we?
[Darris] That's true and again people who look at Europe today and it is a very secular continent, however the history and its connection with the church is very, very prevalent. You go to Europe, you see the cathedrals. You see, even enshrined in its museums especially in Vienna. In places, in some of the museums there, you will see the regalia of the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor right there and the cross and all of the regalia of that system. All in place, all laid out there within these museums right next to all of these churches and it's as if it's waiting to, in a sense be revived. And there is a continual reference to the roots of the European heritage being within the church and within Christianity. There have been calls for that to be returned and to be restored and never be forgotten. It's a strange situation to watch and see but it's as if it's there, dormant, waiting to be revived.
[Gary] Well if you look at what's happening in Europe, there's internal pressures economically, external pressures from Islam and other things. It's moving them away from Western civilization. There's going to come a point in the near future where they're going to be fighting for survival of their culture. And their culture is that the political system and the religious system are combined.
[Darris] You know I was in Vienna some months back. We were in a hotel room. I looked out my hotel window and I saw in a far distant hill a mosque. And between that mosque and where I was were a number of churches, old established churches of Vienna. And you see what he's describing there is this tension because you have competing ideologies there and that is at some point in the future going to begin to create a flashpoint out of which something is going to arise that people just do not comprehend today reading the newspapers. But reading the Bible, you can begin to understand is a reality and a potential.
[Steve] Now as you think about that, I mean some of these things we're talking about they're just absolutely frightening. What can a Christian do? What should we do as these things are coming? They are certainly prophesied. What should be our perspective on these things?
[Gary] First thing we need to realize is you prepare spiritually. It's your personal relationship with God, being close to God, being on our knees before God, and recognizing that we have to realize that this is a great deception. And if we're not prepared to understand what the Bible says about this, we will be deceived by this.
[Darris] You know in Revelation 12, the very last verse, I believe it's verse 17, it says of a time of persecution upon the people of God and the remnant of those people that those people will be identified by those as those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The testimony of Jesus Christ, an understanding in the New Testament is very important but also the commandments of God are extremely important. And some of those commandments including the very key test sign commandment, the Sabbath, are going to be some of the signs that will identify God's people at that time and be a point of contention.
[Steve] Well there's so much to talk about. So much that we need to learn. I hope you'll remember our free offers today. You'll want to order your copy of our study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled and don't forget a free subscription to The Good News . Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read both The Good News and The Book of Revelation Unveiled online at BeyondToday.tv .
Now remember, the book of Revelation, it doesn't have to be mysterious. It doesn't have to remain unexplained. Revelation, should be like its name says. God gave it in order to reveal things to us.
So the Beast of Revelation 13, we can realize that it symbolizes a time that's drawing nearer each day. The world will be taken over by a ruler that will take power, will force people to worship him. His government will bring terror on the world.
This empire and the false religious system that's going to be upon us, is coming! But we don't have to worry about the future if we trust in God. He tells us in Revelation:18:4 to "come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."
So now is the time to be spiritually ready and make every effort to draw close to God. Then you can look forward to the time when the kingdoms of this world will be brought to an end and Jesus Christ will return and establish God's Kingdom of love and peace.
I'll be right back with a final comment right after this.
[Narrator] Christ came to earth with a central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus actually taught on this subject. The United Church of God is hosting free seminars held simultaneously around the world.
[Steve] That Kingdom is coming to earth - that was the message of Jesus Christ. It's not a Kingdom that's off up there in heaven but it's a Kingdom that Christ is going to establish right here on this earth.
[Narrator] Go to KOGSeminars.org for details to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars - giving the message of hope for tomorrow, beginning today.
[Steve] Be sure and sign up to attend our informative Bible seminars today.
Thanks for joining us. Don't forget our free offers and be sure and tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today, I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.