In previous articles we reviewed the Biblical basis which led scholars to
anticipate, over the many centuries, a reemergence of the Roman Empire. Clearly
portrayed in Daniel's several prophecies, the sequence of conquering empires
from Babylon, to Persia, to the Greeks, and ultimately to Rome have each
followed the Biblical scenario. Likewise, the Roman Empire wasn't conquered, but
fragmented into pieces. From Charlemagne on, the lingering concept of a "Holy
Roman Empire" continued - despite Voltaire's classic rebuttal that it was
"neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire!" And the stage now seems to be set as
these fragments appear to be combining in preparation for the final climax of
the long awaited "last days."
Last month we reviewed the rise of post-war Europe, from the
Treaties of Paris and Rome, the EEC ("the Common Market"), the EC ("European
Community"), and now with the Maastricht Treaty, the EU ("European Union"). The
existing 15 members currently represent a Gross Domestic Product of 9.2 trillion
euros, with a population of about 340 million. [See
With the break-up of the former Soviet Union and the resultant availability
of the now-independent eastern bloc states, the "Copenhagen Criteria" was
established to qualify candidate members into the Union. It is interesting that
the requirements established were not intended as barriers, but obstacles to be
overcome. The European Union budgets over €3 billion in assistance to the
candidate members to facilitate their preparation to join the Union. In January,
2004, the present 15 will be joined by ten new members, and in 2007, two
additional applicants are scheduled to join.
This will bring the total economic unit into a federation that will have a
population 60% larger than the United States, with an economy that is currently
about 14% larger than the U.S. (when adjusted for the increasing euro). [See
Like most nations, in the United States foreign trade accounts for an
increasing percentage of economic activity (e.g., Q1 2003: 23.8%). But the U.S.
is becoming a consumer rather than a producer of economic activity: imports now
represent 25% of all transactions, up from 14% in the 1980s. Furthermore, the
U.S. foreign trade is conducted at a loss: the trade deficit is projected to
exceed $548 billion in 2003. In contrast, the European Union gains a surplus of
over €25 billion per year.
Shift of Jobs
Like most industrialized nations, the U.S. relegates an increasing number of
jobs to low-cost labor countries, such as Mexico or Asia. U.S. factories have
shed 2.4 million jobs since 2001, and it is estimated that 3.3 million more will
move off shore by 2015.1 Europe,
too, is taking advantage of the lower-cost labor in the candidate countries,
where the average income is a fraction of the incomes among the member nations.
What makes the European Union's distinctive advantage is that this labor source
will be within their own tax base. As they continue to upgrade the
infrastructures of these new members, from an agrarian to an industrial economy,
they will also gain the long-term benefits.
The EU vs UN
All the EU member nations are members of the United Nations. France, Germany,
Spain, and the United Kingdom are presently on the Security Council. (Two are
among the five permanent members, ten others are elected by the General Assembly
for two year terms.) It came as a surprise to me to discover that the EU is a
larger contributor than the U.S. to both the UN operating budget and
The strange antics by France and Germany prior to, and during, the recent
Iraq War was among many episodes highlighting the jockeying for position
regarding the EU. It is unclear at this time whether the European Union will
"take over" the UN, or simply eclipse the UN's commitment to irrelevancy on the
The Enigma of Turkey
One of the more enigmatic applicants for EU membership is Turkey. They spent
the better part of a century attempting to be part of the West. In 1925 Turkey
adopted the Western calendar; in 1926 it adopted the Swiss civil code (and later
the Italian penal code); in 1928 the country switched to the Latin alphabet; in
1931, the metric system; in 1934 all Turks were obliged to take a surname
(Mustafa Kemal became Kemal Ataturk), and the women were given the vote.
Following World War II, Turkey joined all the main Western institutions: the
UN in 1945; the IMF in 1947; the OECD in 1948; the Council of Europe in 1949;
NATO in 1951. In 1963, after four years of application, Turkey received
associate membership in the European Community. Turkey's agreement specifically
held out full membership as an eventual goal and their application in 1987 was
ahead of Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Norway (whose applications were accepted
Turkey lost its largest trading partner after the 1991 Gulf War. Now,
pressured by France, previously favored by oil contracts with Iraq, Turkey
declined the US use of its bases, despite a commitment of $80 billion in aid.
Nevertheless, it now seems clear that they have been rejected by the European
Union. (While at the Air War College recently, I had the opportunity to discuss
this with some 3-star officers that were in attendance, and they expressed
optimism that Turkey will be allowed admittance.) I personally retain my doubts
for a number of reasons. Among other considerations, Europe presently has about
14 million Muslims in its population. If Turkey joins, they will bring in 63
Another aspect that commands our close attention is the possibility that the
scene is being set for the Magog Invasion depicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
("Meshech" and "Tubal" were principal cities in ancient Anatolia, which
constitutes the eastern three-fourths of modern Turkey.) We simply need to watch
The tensions between two major powers dominated the past 70 years: The U.S.
and the USSR. Both are on the decline for different (or perhaps similar)
reasons. The void is being filled with two emergent superpowers: China and
Europe. It has been the policy of the U.S. to encourage the formation of an
Atlantic trading partner. It is now becoming clear that what has emerged is more
of an increasingly aggressive competitor. And the anti-U.S. sentiment in both
Germany and France, as well as the rest of Europe, is an increasing factor on
the global horizon.
Jesus chided the Pharisees in that they could discern the signs of the
weather, but could not discern the "signs of the times."2 We may
well be even more culpable! As we scan our global horizon, the weather clouds
are clearly forming. There is a clearly discernible restructuring towards the
classic Biblical scenario that scholars have been anticipating for almost 2,000
As we watch the movement of nations, the continuing global antipathy towards
God's land grant to Israel, and many other clearly discernible strategic trends
in our society, it is, indeed, a time to do our homework, rethink our personal
priorities, and prepare to honor our Coming King!
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