The idea predominantly sustained throughout the book of Daniel is… one dominion under diverse administrations, styled the kingdom of men, or of Babylon, as opposed to the kingdom of Judah, which is Yahweh’s. Both these kingdoms have their times, or periods, during which their reigns are unrivalled. The two kingdoms, however, being essentially hostile and destructive of one another, it so happens that when one reigns prosperously, the other must be in adversity or extinct. This being the case, it is obvious that the prosperity of the two kingdoms must pertain to different and successive ages, and that the practising and prospering of the one is at the expense of the other… ” (John Thomas, Exposition of Daniel pp 109,113).

The Great Controversy Of The Ages

 Whether considering the books of Daniel, Revelation or other prophetic scriptures, the main theme of Bible prophecy is Rome versus Zion. As the above quotation from Brother Thomas indicates, there is a great conflict between these two opposing ideals or forces. Thus in the book of Revelation we have Zion symbolised by the Lamb, the Bride, Mount Zion, New Jerusalem, the Holy City and the God of Heaven. In contrast, Rome is symbolised by a wild beast, a drunken harlot, Seven Hills, Babylon the Great, a city called “Sodom and Egypt” and the God of the Earth. The Hope of Israel is therefore diametrically opposed to the ambitions of Rome.

Today, we see both Rome and Zion on the ascendancy. However this cannot last for long. The rise of Zion from the dust augers ill for Rome in the near future. As the final crisis looms evermore closer, we eagerly anticipate the final deliverance of Zion from the brutal Roman oppressor. It was for the Hope of Israel that Paul was bound in chains. Likewise we look for the day when “Yahweh shall comfort Zion… (and) will comfort all her waste places” (Isa 51:3). Today’s world events not onlyrepresent signs of our Lord’s return, but living proof that the ages are being framed by the Word of God (Heb 11:3), the end result of which will be the fulfilment of all our hopes and dreams.

Zion—Israel’s Miraculous 50 Years

 Much has been written in The Lampstand over the past two years about the miracle of Israel. Recent Watchman articles have covered the struggle to achieve peace in the Middle East. Of all that we read about Israel every day in our papers, the one message is clear: eventually the crisis will come down to the most sensitive of all—Jerusalem. Even the Pope has now condemned Israel’s policies on the Holy City.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them: and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Luke 10v23,24). We likewise stand in a similar position in relation to Israel. Much has been written about Israel in our papers during early May, as Israel celebrates 50 years as a nation. We stand in wonder at the way even the world describes the miracle of Israel: “Poor but triumphant, the young nation permitted itself to exult in being alive and to imagine itself capable of creating a society that would embody Isaiah’s vision of Israel as a light unto the nations. Today as it celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, Israel bears little resemblance to that fledgling State. Where a determined David once stood, there stands now an ambiguous Goliath —powerful but divided, prosperous but uncertain… In many ways, the dreams of Israel’s founders have been achieved beyond their wildest imaginings” (The Australian 30.4.98).

Despite the struggle for peace, Israel’s economy continues to boom:“There are now 109 Israeli companies listed on the US stock markets, with atotal market value of $US29 billion. While Israel itself spends about $US2.5 billion on research and development each year, the industry has also attracted foreign venture capital and there are about $US 2 billion worth of investments here. As Israel’s Finance Minister, Mr Yaacov Ne-eman, put it: ‘Israel today is one of the main centres of high-tech and development. We have more than 3 000 start ups each year, which is more than anywhere but the US’” (Sydney Morning Herald 29.4.98).

Western Rome—Another Holy Roman Empire?

 As we see Israel emerging as a world power, another power is also rising from obscurity—Babylon the Great. In early May, the greatest unifying process since the days of Charlemagne was launched. Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) seeks to emulate Charlemagne’s goal of a single currency for Western Europe:“Individual nations will effectively become one economy in a Europe without internal borders. It is a project on a scale never seen” (SMH 2.5.98). Eleven countries will replace their currencies with the Euro on 1 January 1999. This effectively binds Western Europe together as a single bloc, with their monetary system controlled by a single European bank, based in Frankfurt, Germany. This is one of the greatest phenomena of our time.

In Daniel 7, the Holy Roman Empire is depicted by a “little horn” which arises from “among” the ten horns on Daniel’s fourth beast. It therefore arose after the ten horns became manifest. On Christmas Day AD799 Charlemagne was crowned emperor of Western Europe by the Pope. This initiated the great and dreadful millennial reign of the little horn power—for 1000 years. It had eyes like the eyes of a man—the “man of sin”, or “Holy See”. It also had a mouth. In fact, the blasphemy of this system is so great that it is emphasised four times in Daniel 7 (v8,11,20,25). The supreme reason for the judgment of Daniel’s fourth beast is therefore due to the blasphemy of its little horn. This is the Holy Roman Empire, with Papal eyes and mouth.

The “little horn” can be summarised as follows:

  • Religious power—speaks blasphemy (v25) cp Revelation 13:5,6
  • Military power—it subdues three powers (v8), it makes war (v21)
  • Political power—it changes times and laws (v25)
  • Persecuting power—it kills the saints (v21,25).

Most significantly, the “little horn” is to reemerge in the latter days. The Holy Roman Empire “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came… ” (v21,22). Its dominion is taken away by the saints (v26,27). Today we see a re-emergence of the “little horn” upon the European theatre. In Apocalyptic language, it is a revival of the Beast of the Earth (Rev 13:11;16:13) and Babylon the Great (Rev 17). The Euro is to be “the single biggest step towards a new economic superpower… ” (The Australian, April 1998). French President Chirac described it as “the beginning of a new era”. Also, “an emotional Jacques Santer, president of the European Commission, said: ‘It is the first time for more than 500 years that we now have the historic chance to unite our continent in peace and freedom’” (The West Australian 14.3.98).

The Economist magazine now has a weekly column covering the European Union entitled “Charlemagne”, the first issue of which was headlined “A Modern Ancient” (3.1.98). It states that it was Charlemagne’s goal to impose a single currency in Western Europe, a goal which was never realised. This article, with accompanying picture of Charlemagne, outlined how the EU is nothing less than a revival of his empire:

“We do not invoke Charlemagne to parade him as some shiny exemplar of togetherly European virtue, but because of the uncanny way in which so many of the geopolitical puzzles of his age still tantalise today. It is striking, for a start, how closely the imperial Carolingian contours match the lands of the founding six members of today’s European Union, and how often, for the twelve centuries that have elapsed since his death, Europe’s big unifiers, from Frederick Barbarossa to Louis XIV to Napoleon and Hitler on to Jean Monnet and Helmut Kohl, have uttered his name as they sought variously to emulate his achievements. Even his administrative methods are mirrored.”

Papal Rome—Apocalyptic Rumblings

 A recent headline,“Pope Postpones End of the World”, indicated that “Italy has been gripped by pre-millennial angst since the earthquakes in Umbria last September which killed eleven people and damaged the Basilica of St Francis at Assisi. There are frequent rumors that Vesuvius, whichdestroyed Pompeii in AD79 and last erupted in 1944, is about to erupt again… ” (The Australian 25.4.98). Around Rome there has been an increase in volcanic activity, with one report that the hills 15km south east of Rome have started “rising like a sponge cake” (The Advertiser). Many Italians think this may be the end of the world, so the Pope has re-assured them that this is not the case. We know however that, “her plagues shall come in one day, death, mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her… ” (Rev 18:8).

In the Vatican, a Russian Orthodox mosaicist “has been working in virtual secrecy… to create one of the century’s most ambitious works of art. By the time it is finished, for inauguration in 2000, the Redemptoris Mater chapel will be adorned with up to 100 million mosaic pieces… It also reflects the Pope’s wish to re-unite eastern and western Europe and heal the breach between Rome and Orthodoxy. The artist, Aleksandr Kornoukhov, is an Orthodox Christian and his work is uncompromisingly Eastern in style” (SMH 18.4.98).

The Pope has also “used his Easter homily to chastise Israel for endangering peace in the Middle East through its ‘dangerous political decisions’ over the status of Jerusalem… ” (The Australian 14.4.98). Rome will need future military support from the emerging EU. Consider the recent signing of an agreement to produce 1000 Eurofighter aircraft at $100 million each (The Australian 24.12.97). This is in an age of “peace and security”! While a “Fourth Reich” therefore emerges in Western Europe, in order for Rome to achieve her long-awaited objectives she must also obtain military power from the East.

Eastern Rome—Another Byzantine Empire?

 The threat of war still looms over the dangerous issue of Cyprus. Recent comments by former Turkish Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller, that “Turkey is going to war with Russia” have caused great interest in the Brotherhood. Russian ships with $1 billion worth of Russian weapons are due for Cyprus soon. Turkey has said they will strike the ships. Russia and Greece say that this would be cause for war. It is therefore amazing to see Israel and Turkey joining together in alliance to counter the Cyprus threat and threats from Iran and Iraq:

 “Turkey and Israel are planning to co-operate on a project to jointly produce Delilah missiles, which have a range of 500km, because of rising concern over the transfer of Russian-made S300 missiles to Cyprus” (Jerusalem Post 4.10.97). Both Israel and Turkey will eventually be opposed by a coalition of eastern nations including Russia, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile Turkey has reacted angrily to their membership rejection by the European Union. The Turkish Prime Minister has accused the EU of erecting “a new cultural Berlin Wall” by excluding Turkey, a non-Christian country. The Euphratean Turkish power must eventually be dried up and another Byzantine Greco-Roman dragon re-established as in days of old (Rev 13:4;16:13).

Russian military assistance to Iran continues to cause alarm in Israel: “The Russians have taken a strategic decision to attempt a return to great power status, the first stage of which involves re-entry into the Middle East” (Information Division, Israeli Foreign Ministry 13.7.97). “Israel plans surgical raid on Iran missiles” says The Australian (10.12.98). These missiles are being developed by thousands of Russian scientists in Iran.

A World Of Violence

 The evil of today’s world was amply illustrated in the recent shooting murders of four school children and a teacher by two boys aged eleven and thirteen in Arkansas, USA. While the problem with guns is obvious, the problem really lies at the very heart of family life. Even many in the world can see this. Put simply, “What the massacre shows is that the core culture in the US is succumbing to an ugly new virus—which its political system seems unwilling to confront” (SMH 28.3.98). The ugly new virus comes from an evil mix of Hollywood violence and video games. The same article said, “Anybody who suggests society has a right to censor this kind of material is called a moral pig or a born-again zealot…”. The Governor of Arkansas, in castigating modern television summed it up by saying, “It has desensitised our society into a state of callousness and disregard”.

 The Time magazine (6.4.98) had an article titled, “Toward the Root of the Evil”, about the awful effects video games and movies have on the minds of our children: “Few researchers bother any longer to dispute that bloodshed on TV and in the movies has an effect on the kids who witness it. Added to the mix now are video games, at least the ones built around the model of hunt and kill…”. A great tragedy is that the enjoyment of violent movies and video games are now even common amongst children and young people in the Truth. It poses a grave threat for all of us who have children growing up in a world where these evils are seen as being “normal”. We must face the facts and realise that God hates violence.

To allow enjoyment of violence in our homes is to side with the seed of the serpent, which ultimately results in allying ourselves with Roman Babylon—noted specifically for her violence. The enjoyment of violence is completely opposite to everything God’s Kingdom stands for. It is a battle for the mind: the seed of the serpent in conflict with the seed of the woman.

 Zion’s Final Triumph Over Rome

 As the final picture now emerges, we begin to envisage the awfulness of the time of Jacob’s trouble. Don’t be deceived by the cries of peace and safety. The world is on the brink of a crisis which will eclipse the horrors of World Wars I & II. Consider: “In January, officials at Chernobyl said the foundations of the sarcophagus were crumbling, raising the fear that the roof might collapse, sending tonnes of radioactive dust drifting over Europe” (The Australian 25.4.98). Neo-Nazis are gaining prominence all over Europe, including Russia. Consider just a quick perusal of recent headlines: “Russia—Hitler’s Skinhead Fans on a Racist Rampage” (SMH 9.5.98), “Czech Republic–State Paralysed Before Brazen Neo-Nazi Gangs” (SMH 28.3.98), “German Neo-Nazis Grab Votes in the East” (Guardian Weekly 3.5.98), “Neo-Nazi Tide Sweeps East Germany” (Guardian Weekly 1.2.98). Across Europe we see massive increases in rightwingattacks on Jews and foreigners: “Ministers seem bewildered by the almost universal racism of the white population” (SMH 28.3.98). Also, “President calls for new Europe, with Russia at centre” (SMH 28.3.98). The leader of Germany’s Jewish community recently said: “What could emerge in the next two, three or five years could be very dangerous… ”.

 At Armageddon, two thirds of Jews will perish (Zech 13:8). Many will be herded into captivity, into the oblivion and darkness of Catholic Europe where the Papacy will again wield her brutal influence over the minds of men (Joel 3:6; Rev 18:7,23). With Gog triumphant and Europe in chains, the cries of Jewry will be heard from the depths of Babylon the Great’s abyss: “Where are our gods, the rock in whom we trusted?”. With Christ and the saints emerging triumphant in Jerusalem, Elijah will then bring the scattered Jews into the wilderness of the people, where Yahweh will plead with them face to face (Ezek 20:33–38).

In this wilderness the Papal harlot and her ten-horned European beast will face their final showdown (Rev 17:3,14). With the Papacy drinking from the plundered vessels of Jerusalem, the writing upon the wall will be revealed: Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin—your kingdom is numbered and finished, it has been weighed in the balances and found wanting, your kingdom is divided and given to the Messiah of Jewry. Upon this decree, the final victory of Zion over Rome will become manifest:“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem… The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Yahweh alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isa 2:3,11). Even so, come Lord Jesus.