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Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Saturday 20 February 2016

Giving their Kingdoms to the Beast - The Present and Future Course of European Nations

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled, Revelation 17:17 

Leaving aside the particular details of what David Cameron has negotiated, or not, one overriding truth is very evident, namely, that there is a continuing desire among European nations for the centralising of power. Keeping also in mind that the reality of what has been negotiated will be somewhat different to the 'spin' that the Prime Minister and his spin doctors will present to the electorate over coming days, this desire to centralise power will not be given up easily or willingly.

Whatever the outcome of the upcoming Referendum in the United Kingdom, upon David Cameron's negotiations with these other Europeans nations, there is a general direction that European nations are travelling. It is ever onwards to centralised control, with less democracy and the rise of bureaucratic control. It is these features that will aid the rise of Antichrist in coming days!

Events in Europe, and also in the Middle East, ought ever to be of interest to the Bible believer. These two areas of the world are going to play a significant part in the events that lead up to the coming of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, to this world a second time. 

Before that great event comes about, there will be the rise of Antichrist, the man of sin. A number of the nations of Europe will play an important role in his rise and development.

I. The Connection of European Nations with the Kingdom of Antichrist
Prior to the coming again of Jesus Christ to this earth there will be in existence the kingdom of Antichrist. This kingdom will include many, but not all of the nations of Europe.

Antichrist’s kingdom will be based upon the boundaries of the ancient Roman Empire. Daniel, by divinely given wisdom, was able to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which he saw concerning the great image, Daniel 2:31-45. That dream outlined four great empires that would dominate world history, or the Times of the Gentiles as this period is called in Scripture: 
[1] The Babylonians 
[2] The Medes & Persians 
[3] The Grecians 
[4] The Romans. 

We are taught that, in the final days of these kings, God would set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. This is to take place at the return of Christ. It is described in Daniel 2 as the time when the stone, cut out without hands, would smite the image on its feet, Daniel 2:44. This new kingdom is to replace, not live alongside, the form of the fourth kingdom that will then be in existence.

At the time of the end there must evidently then be in existence a kingdom associated with, and based upon the boundaries of the fourth empire, which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream, namely the Roman one. 

In ancient time, the Roman Empire stretched from Spain in the west to Iraq/Iran in the east; from parts of Britain in the north, to north Africa in the south. The image that Nebuchadnezzar saw had two legs which represented the eastern and western parts of the old Roman Empire. The image also had ten toes, five on each foot.

We are left to conclude that there must be a reviving of this fourth kingdom, prior to the coming of the Saviour. A political system will emerge based upon the boundaries of the old Roman Empire. It will be sub-divided, not into nation states, but into regions. There will be five in the western part and five in the eastern part, corresponding to the ten toes on the image which Nebuchadnezzar saw.

The future centre of this revived empire will be Babylon. In the Bible Babylon is ancient Babylon, in Mesopotamia/Iraq, and not Rome. The centre of this great kingdom will be the ancient city of Babylon. Commerce will be the chief pursuit of this city and kingdom. Allied to this pursuit of wealth will be a complete overthrow of religion in its existing form. In its place there will be a worship of Antichrist himself, 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

It would also seem that the Scriptures teach that this kingdom will develop elsewhere before being transferred to Babylon. Consider the imagery of the woman and the ephah in Zechariah 5:5-11. It is worth remembering that the European Union has already used this imagery of a woman in the ephah when celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Euro. [See here & here]

Antichrist will rule over this kingdom. Antichrist is a person, just as the devil is a person and Jesus Christ is a person. Antichrist is not a system, like the papacy. Antichrist will be one man who will be the devil's Christ and who will recognise no God but himself, Daniel 11:36,37.

Many of the nations of Europe will be at the very heart of this kingdom. Many changes have yet to take place, but the final form will one day arrive. This is the direction of travel that European nations are presently taking. They are in the process of giving their kingdoms over to the Beast as taught in Revelation 17:17.

II. Existing nations will assist in the development of Antichrist’s kingdom. 
This text teaches us that the nations which exist prior to the reviving of the fourth kingdom, over which Antichrist will rule, will collude in giving their kingdoms to him.

We are therefore to look for a giving up of power by nation states, a centralising of that power in one place and this all to take place, not by war, but by peaceful agreement. We are all aware of the centralising of power that has been taking place for many years within the European Union. More and more nation states in Europe are being controlled by Brussels. Over 70% of our laws, it is claimed, come from Europe. This is the main issue that stirs the heart of eurosceptics in the United Kingdom. They desire to take back sovereign control.

The Westminster government may pursue the devolution of 'power' to the different parts of the United Kingdom, but it is a misnomer. Power is not being properly devolved. What is being devolved is the administration of power. The real decisions are being increasingly taken elsewhere and local devolved bodies merely administer and implement those decisions. More and more control over the major issues are being taken by a centralised and unelected body in Europe.

Europe is not yet in its final form. Many changes must take place to conform to the teaching of the Scriptures. What  is important to notice is that the Lord teaches that it will happen and how it will happen. They will agree to give their power away, Revelation 17:13,17. Their 'power' will not be 'taken' from them by war. Rather it will be willingly 'given' away. The Antichrist is said to come to prominence, and to power, with flatteries and promises of peace, Daniel 11:21,32,34.

National governments across Europe are colluding in giving away their national power and diminishing the authority of their national Parliaments. It seems a remarkable thing that nation states, which once went to war to retain national sovereignty are now prepared to countenance the giving of it away. But this is what is happening. Nation states are freely giving up national sovereignty and have been doing so in Europe for a generation and more. Such a course is even presented as being beneficial and aiding any country which does so. How remarkable given European history!

God has put it within hearts to fulfill His will. Why do politicians do this? Why does it seem unstoppable and irresistible, even promoted as the right thing to do? Why do governments collude with one another and endeavour to resist the will of the people? Paul speaks of God sending them strong delusion so that they will believe the Antichrist’s lie, 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

God has put it within their hearts to fulfill His will. God works all things out after the counsel of His own will. This desire for an United States of Europe is just the beginning of the kingdom of Antichrist. There is much still to change before its final form will eventually come about. It seems no matter which government is in office there is an unstoppable, centralising of power because they are fulfilling the purpose of God for this earth. All things are under divine control. 

This is remarkable given that we live in a day when the Bible is regularly mocked and cast aside by these same politicians. Yet the truth is that they are fulfilling Scripture and they don't know about it, nor are they interested in knowing it.

III. This Kingdom of Antichrist will not last for ever
This text, in Revelation 17:17, puts a limit upon the collusion of these nations to bring this kingdom of Antichrist into existence. It is until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The duration of Antichrist's kingdom is limited. The kingdom of Antichrist will not last for ever. Rather, it is the kingdom of Jesus Christ that will do so. The days of Antichrist's kingdom are numbered, Revelation 13:5. From the time when the Antichrist reaches the height of his power until his destruction will be 'forty and two months', 'time, times and the dividing of times' [ ie. three and an half years], or 'a thousand two hundred and threescore days'  [ie. 1,260 days]. These are all descriptions for the same period and length of time.

Jesus Christ is the stone that shall smash Antichrist's kingdom and bring it crashing down. He is the stone cut out without hands, which Daniel spoke of to Nebuchadnezzar. This stone is said to smash the image upon its feet, for that is the part of the image existing at the time of His return.

To use New Testament language, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Christ’s kingdom shall last for ever. Daniel saw the Saviour’s kingdom fill the whole earth, the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth, Daniel 2:35. Mountains are associated with legislation as evidenced with God giving His law from Mt Sinai. Christ's rule and law will extend throughout the whole earth.

This is the kingdom that shall stand for ever, Daniel 2:44 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.

Whatever the outcome of the United Kingdom's upcoming Referendum, the course that European nations are following is outlined in Scripture. There is a spirit within them which is working to give their kingdoms to the Beast. 

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