In the past twelve months we have witnessed the amazing peace developments between Israel and her neighbours, culminating in the historic peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. All it needs now is for Syria and Lebanon to reach agreement with Israel and she will then have peace on all her borders.
The momentum for peace is strong and it could well be that in the not too distant future the predicted situation for Israel prior to Armageddon, spoken of in Ezekiel 38:11, will become a reality—a “land of unwalled villages…that are at rest, that dwell safely all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates”.
But what of the situation in Europe? Are we seeing developments on the Continent that will lead to the confederation of powers which will invade the land of unwalled villages, also predicted in Ezekiel 38?
The seeds of European Union after the carnage of World War 2 were initially sown by Winston Churchill. Recognising the threat of the Iron Curtain of Communism he declared that what Western Europe needed to safeguard its future, both economically and politically, was a kind of “United States of Europe”.
And so it was that in 1957 the European Economic Community (Common Market) was formed, significantly based upon the “Treaty of Rome”. Interestingly, Great Britain was not included in the original six member states. Since then, of course, many things have happened on the Continent, not the least of which was the demolishing of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the break-up of the old Soviet Union. These events took place with such amazing rapidity that the brotherhood, quite apart from the world, was left wondering what would happen next.
Well, in recent months some interesting developments have taken place on the Continent. From our understanding of prophecy and Ezekiel 38 in particular, we expect to see a union of European states under the guard of Russia. The principle European states in this union are Magog and Gomer. Bro Thomas in his masterly expositions has provided credible evidence to show that those ancient names relate to Central Europe and France respectively. And in recent times it has been Germany and France that have been most vocal in their push for what has been described as a “hard core” Europe.
In September this year one of the key elements of the joint plans released by Paris and Bonn was to use their successive European Union presidencies to speed up European integration and to create a new European framework built around France and Germany and an inner core of nations. Chancellor Kohl’s party has already published a draft for a “hard core” Europe which consists of France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and they would move to monetary and political integration leaving stragglers like BRITAIN behind.
Furthermore one of the principal parts of Germany’s new European plan extends the economic and political integration of the western part of Europe peacefully eastwards into central Europe and ultimately into the heart of the old Soviet empire in Russia. Germany is very keen to integrate central Europe within the ranks of a wider European union.
The emergence of Magog and Gomer as important powers in European union is coming to pass dramatically before our eyes. And all of this talk of a “hard core” Europe is at the expense of Great Britain. Indeed as the Financial Review 20 October 1994 stated, the push by Germany and France “would force Britain to make decisions on whether it wants to be in Europe or not as some politicians such as former Chancellor Norman Lamont are now calling for”.
The development of European union centred around Germany and France leads us to consider briefly the scarlet coloured beast of Revelation 17. There is no question that the woman riding the beast illustrates the great influence the papacy has on European affairs (the Foreign Ministers of the original six member states of the EEC were all Roman Catholics). But the papacy will not be the only influence shaping European union. Just as previously in Revelation 13 the Dragon power in Constantinople gave power and authority to the beast of the sea, so we believe it will be the Dragon power again, led by Russia in possession of Istanbul (Constantinople) that will be the power behind a united European thrust into the Middle East.
The Soviet Union has gone and Russian troops have now been withdrawn from the Baltic Republics and Germany. But the very powerful Russian army remains intact. It is no secret that the heads of the Russian military were not happy about the Russian pull back from Europe.
The Russian soldiers felt they had been “stabbed in the back” by a group of politicians.
All it needs is for a Russian leader to rise (Vladimir Zhirinovsky?) to harness the disgruntled military and the stage would be set for a revival of Russian prestige.
As we know this world will yet witness the union of French, German and Russian interests. And when that happens the scenario of Ezekiel 38 will be just around the corner.
The world will be caught unprepared, but let us make sure we are prepared for the Lord’s coming. “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).
Comments in this article have been based mainly on two articles in the Australian Financial Review for 15 September 1994 and 20 October 1994 under the heading “Kohl Comfort”.