PROSPERITY OR CALAMITY?
Now That Britain Is in the Common Market
Before there is a final prosperity in Utopian peace and-well-being, grave things are prophesied for Britain and Europe.
BRITAIN is going to look back on Monday, January 1, 1973, in all probability, as a most tragically historic date - a date fraught with ominous potentialities! For that date marked the United Kingdom's entry into the European Community.
But one could logically ask, how could that event portend anything unhappy for the United Kingdom? Probably a majority in Britain initially looked forward to Common Market entry with approval. Humans seldom foresee unexpected happenings. But prophecy pinpoints the major events in the world's imminent future that will affect us all!
For 39 years now, I've been telling our radio audience and PLAIN TRUTH readers that a political union of ten nations in Europe would rise, resurrecting the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages. I was predicting this even before World War II. Of course, almost no one believed me, then.
Four years before Adolf Hitler plunged the world into World War II, an article appeared in the July 1935 PLAIN TRUTH. That article might have been summarized by this sentence in it: "Out of the present Italy is to emerge a reincarnation of the once great and powerful Roman Empire, by an alliance of ten nations within its territory."
To Start as an Economic Movement
Biblical prophecy revealed that this empire would start as an economic movement - that it would bring an era of unusual prosperity to Europe. It did start in March, 1957, when six European countries - West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Treaty of Rome, creating the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been known, of course, as the Common Market. And it came into active being on January 1, 1958. Immediately, "the Six" began to enjoy a new wave of prosperity.
For years, European nations have wanted to unite politically, in a sort of "United States of Europe." But so far, political union has posed more problems than they have been able to solve. While President Charles de Gaulle of France lived, Germany would never have yielded to accept him as ruler over Germany.
The French would not accept a German. Until some man emerged, one whom all could accept as a supreme authority, it seemed that they were totally stymied. Meanwhile, long-range economic plans are already more than a year under way in a ten-year program for establishing a common currency for European nations. But if the greater problem of achieving, political union could be hurdled, the common currency might be produced very quickly.
Ten - But Not Same Ten
This January 1,1973 date marked also the entry of the Irish Republic and Denmark into the European Community. For a while, it was scheduled to include ten nations. Norway had applied. But in a referendum, Norway voted to stay out. However, the anticipated ten would not, in all probability, have been the prophesied ten.
How did I know, as far back as 1927, that this coming United States of Europe would spring up - in our time? I knew because I saw it clearly revealed in Biblical prophecy. Of course it's true that almost no one understands Biblical prophecy. But no wonder! For almost no one understands what the gospel of Jesus Christ is, or where and how in prophecy the United States and British Commonwealth are identified.
There has, of course, been much preaching of a Gospel about Jesus Christ. In that sense, Christ has been much preached to the world. But not His Gospel! Not the Gospel He personally taught.
Very few have realized that Jesus came with a news announcement! The very word "Gospel" means "Good News." And it's made very plain in the New Testament. Jesus taught the good news of the Kingdom of God. Yet few have understood what the Kingdom of God really is. You should read Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God? It contains vital knowledge, little understood.
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is the government of God, which is going to rule all the nations of the earth to bring world peace and salvation with eternal life as God's gift. He taught that the Kingdom of God is not only the coming world-ruling government, but also the ruling divine family into which we may be born. You should read Just What Do You Mean ... Born Again? Nothing has been more misunderstood! Nothing is so important! Yet it's very plain and clear in the Bible! Write for these booklets and get the surprise of your life when you see these clear truths in your own Bible!
Jesus gave descriptions of the Kingdom of God. He described it in many parables - yet for eighteen and a half centuries, this truth - this Gospel - was not preached to the whole world. It's been right there in the Bible all these years! It's plain and clear. But don't ask me why it wasn't proclaimed to the world!
There is a direct and most vital connection between this true Gospel, which Christ taught, and the uniting of ten nations in Europe. The Gospel Jesus brought from God - the good news He announced - was news of the future! For that Kingdom of world rule was not set up in His day, nor has it even yet been set up! So Christ's Gospel -"News announcement" - was, in itself a prophecy. Did you ever wonder why approximately one third of the Bible .is devoted to prophecy? Prophecy is directly connected with the true Gospel.
The prophecies of the book of Daniel are connected with the Kingdom of God - and therefore with the Gospel.
In the second chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ruled over the very first world-empire - the Chaldean Empire. This was 600 years before Christ. Nebuchadnezzar had a most unusual dream. God used the prophet Daniel to interpret the meaning of that dream. In it, this Chaldean king saw a frightfully large metallic image.
Describing and interpreting it, Daniel said: '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..." - notice a time element is introduced - till certain events occur - "... till that a stone was cut out without hands [supernaturally] which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces" (Daniel 2:32-34).
Of course, these parts of the image were symbols. But Daniel interpreted the symbols: "This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O King, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.... 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.... 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 in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom... shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:36-44).
So here in this prophecy, we see a time sequence of governments, commencing with the first world empire, 600 years before Christ, continuing down through time to, and past, our time - even to the setting up of the Kingdom of God. So Christ's Gospel was concerned with a succession of governments, climaxing in the government of God.
The panorama of prophecy of these same kingdoms continues in the seventh chapter of Daniel. In that chapter, Daniel had a prophetic dream. He saw four wild animals. The first was like a lion. The second was like a bear, and the third was like a leopard which had four heads. A fourth beast was unlike any of the others - stronger, more terrible than the previous three, and with great iron teeth. Out of the head of this fourth beast grew ten horns.
Daniel was given the interpretation of the dream. The lion was Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean Empire (Babylon). The bear was the Persian Empire, and the leopard represented the Greco-Macedonian Empire with four divisions. The fourth beast was the Roman Empire. The horns were other governments which came out of the Roman Empire after its fall (A.D. 476). The first three horns were uprooted between A.D. 493 and A.D. 5 54 by a smaller horn, representing a religious kingdom. It persecuted "the saints" - people of God - until the establishment of the Kingdom of God, when "the saints" will possess the Kingdom and rule.
Next came a succession of five kingdoms - or governments - carried on in the 13th chapter of Revelation. John, the apostle who wrote the book of Revelation, saw in vision one wild animal - like a leopard, with the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion, with seven heads and ten horns and crowns on the horns (not heads). A dragon, interpreted in the 12th chapter of Revelation to be the Devil, gave this beast his power, and his seat and great authority - a government. This one beast, the Roman Empire, is the one that had all the strengths of Daniel's four beasts which had a total of seven heads. But the crowns on its horns depict a time of rule after the fall of the ancient Roman Empire - when the deadly wound was healed. Five of the horns continued for 1260 years.
Now remember, there were, in the book of Daniel, seven heads, but only four wild animals. But Daniel's leopard had four heads. This leopard was a symbol for the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great. After Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, he died from illness ten days after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout. About ten years later, his vast empire was split up into four major divisions by his four top generals. The Roman Empire absorbed all four. So the animal John saw in the 13th chapter of Revelation was the Roman Empire, which dated from 31 B.C. to A.D. 476.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, three smaller governments ruled the West - the Vandals, the Heruli and the Ostrogoths. But they were totally uprooted. Not a vestige of them remained. That left seven more governments to come, symbolized by the last seven of the ten horns out of this seventh head - that is, continuing after the fall of the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages and again in our time. The reestablishment of the empire occurred in A.D, 554. Remember, the prophecy in the 13th chapter of Revelation said it would continue 1260 years.
The last seven eras of government symbolized by the last seven of the ten horns of the Roman Empire formed, as it were, an eighth kingdom, which was like a continuing part of Daniel's preceding seven government heads. This is pictured as the beast or animal, described in the 17th chapter of Revelation. Through the High Middle Ages, it was called the Holy Roman Empire. It began in A.D. 554, under Justinian. The second head of government, represented by this 17th chapter beast - or animal - was Charlemagne, A.D. 800 - the Prankish head of state.
He was followed by the third head of state, Otto the Great, of the German dynasty. The fourth head of state was the Hapsburg dynasty, culminating in the reign of Charles the Great. The fifth head of state was Napoleon. Napoleon's dynasty ended in 1814. These five heads of states were symbolized by the first five heads of the 17th chapter beast (of Revelation). Throughout these periods of rise and fall, religion was the most significant institution to provide continuity to the Holy Roman Empire. It provided continuity when the political power failed.
Now the prophetic time in which the apostle John appears to have seen the next sequence of events in his vision was approximately 1934-1937. John wrote, 'The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Revelation 17:8).
Now continuing, "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev. 17:9-14).
So you see the time described - as if looking forward from about 1935 to the second coming of Christ. The ten horns on the seventh head are yet to come, but are now beginning to rise through the European Community. These picture the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. It was, through the Middle Ages, and of necessity will be, a united church and state empire, There is no other kind of union that can provide the unity Europe has been seeking.
I said at the beginning, Britain's entry into the European Community portends a tragic situation. Britain will be faced with a dilemma. Will she abandon Protestantism? She will be forced to do this if she is to have a permanent role with the other nine that will form this United Europe! Today's violence in Northern Ireland is the tragic beginning of a generally unforeseen religious struggle that will be intensified throughout the Western world when the European Community becomes a united political union.
By Herbert W. Armstrong