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Chapter 17

The Ten Horns

 

THE prophecy of Revelation 17 presents another interesting international development. Referring to the ten horns which represent the nations of Europe, an explanation of their significance is provided.

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. (Revelation 17:12, 13).

The beast here referred to is not the red monster but, as the context of Revelation 17:11 demonstrates, it is the eighth beast—the Papacy. Bible prophecy here informs us that the nations of Europe will, during the time of the seventh head, unite with the Papacy to again promote papal dominance. We can anticipate that, as in the past, the Papacy will take advantage of the power of the state to enforce fearful persecution of those who dare to stand against its evil doctrines. This persecution undoubtedly will surpass, in ferocity and intensity, the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Remember that the eighth head (the restored Papacy) will "cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Revelation 13:15)

The speech of John Paul II, April 1989, was ominous. Addressing thousands of young Italian soldiers, he expressed the hope "that each nation’s army could one day be joined into a world authority" which would have the "effective means to enjoin respect for justice and the truth." (Battle Cry, summer 1989). There is no doubt that such a world army would enforce the ruthless dictates of the Papacy against dissenters.

At the end of the sixth head (atheistic communism), the devil was immediately prepared with his seventh. American Protestantism and Protestantism elsewhere in this world are already loudly proclaiming a newfound unity of faith with Roman Catholicism. Similarly, Europe has been prepared for its role in the form of the European Economic Community which was established by the Treaty of Rome. Since the days of the Roman Empire, there have not been such close ties among the European nations. Twelve nations are already members—Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. At the precise moment that Eastern Europe was throwing off the shackles of communism (October 1989), a most symbolic event happened in each of those twelve nations. This significant action was the abolition of national passports in those countries. Citizens of each of these twelve nations may now obtain only a common European passport.

Recently, another country had abandoned its tight restrictions:

The Albanian People’s Assembly last week granted all citizens the right to travel abroad, abolished restrictions on the practice of religion, and allowed all suspects the right to an attorney. (Time magazine, May 21 1990)

On December 31 1992, closer unity will be forged in Europe. At that time the nations of the European Economic Community will abolish all customs barriers across their borders. There will no longer be any immigration formalities when passing from one nation to the other. Thus these powers will be the United States of Europe except that there will not be full political unity. After December 31 1992, it is proposed that the famous currencies of the past (the British pound sterling, the French franc, the German mark, the Italian lira, and the Dutch guilder) will all disappear, to be replaced by a common currency known as the Eurodollar.

The United Kingdom is the only one of the twelve members in the European Community which holds any serious reservations to the implementation of the unified currency proposal. Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom, has always been halfhearted in her support of this European ideal. Significantly, her political fortunes have never been at a lower ebb than at the turn of the decade. Her political party was, in April 1990, over twenty percent behind the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls. Within her own party, moves are afoot to depose her from the party leadership. If this should take place, the successor would almost certainly be Mr. Michael Heseltine. Contrast these two politicians.

If Mrs. Thatcher is popularly seen as "anti-Europe," and is resisting British participation in the European monetary system because it would take away the sovereign right of parliament to decide Britain’s economic policies, Mr. Heseltine tries to look as European as he can. (Singapore Straits Times, March 20 1990)

If Mrs. Thatcher resists the challenge to her leadership within the conservative party, she must face a general election before June 1992, just six months prior to the implementation of the unified monetary system and the elimination of immigration and customs barriers. At that election, she faces almost certain defeat. In either case, by December 31 1992, it is almost certain that Margaret Thatcher, the last resistance to complete European unity, will be out of the political arena. All will be prepared for prophetic fulfillment.

Other European nations will surely seek entry into this powerful economic union. Four new nations are already seeking entry into the European Economic Community—Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, and Turkey (Newsweek, March 12 1990). Others are expected to follow. There already is increasing cooperation between the EEC and other European nations. Six nations outside the EEC have formed the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). These are Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. A Newsweek report stated that "the odds are good that all six EFTA countries, including reluctant Switzerland, will have accepted close association with the community [the EEC] by the end of 1992.

Perhaps the unheralded 35-member Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) is more significant. It consists of members from every European nation, now that Albania has joined. This organization, which also includes the United States and Canada, was formed in 1975 by the Helsinki Final Act.

The act remained largely a dead letter for the first decade after its adoption. (Newsweek, March 12 1990)

To the surprise of most members, the CSCE debating club took on new life in the mid-1980s (by no coincidence) just as Gorbachev took power in Moscow. (Ibid.)

It was no coincidence, for God had foretold that the nations of Europe would be of one mind at the time of the seventh head. Incredibly, Newsweek foresees that "the European Community and the CSCE are emerging as the likely poles around which the new Europe will organize itself."

The careful Bible student will studiously observe these two organizations, one a household name and the other almost unknown. The fact that the United States has a voice in the CSCE brings together the lamblike beast and the ten horns as prophecy proclaims. These will uphold the papal power.

Since the days of the Roman Empire, Europe has never been in a position to speak as one mind. The CSCE represents the first organization in the history of Europe to which every European nation has accepted membership. In the light of Bible prophecy, this fact is most significant. Newsweek was unaware that it was describing the fulfillment of prophecy when it reported that "the European Economic Community is tightening its political ties in order to ‘speak as a single voice’ in world affairs."

Now, for the first time in history, we have a single organization in which every European nation is a member, now that Albania officially joined. This fact is very significant in the fulfillment of Revelation 17.

Albania yesterday edged further away from its self-imposed isolation after Mr. Adil Corcani, the prime minister, said that his country intended to join the all European Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. (Financial Times, May 9 1990)

In June 1990, Colin visited Copenhagen, Denmark. A meeting of the CSCE was in session. He attended the meeting, and observed every nation of Europe, from the Holy See (Vatican) to the U.S.S.R., present. Albania had sent representatives for the first time. The ominous significance of the growth of the CSCE may be judged by its evaluation by the Soviet Union.

With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact & NATO insisting on incorporating a united Germany into the Western military alliance, Moscow is anxious to chart a new security system for Europe. . . . [Soviet foreign minister] Shevardnadze’s idea is to convert the CSCE into what could be called a structure to safeguard European peace. . . . Here was the coalition of a greater European council grouping all the heads of the state that would meet once a year. (Singapore Straits Times, June 1 1990)

The CSCE would become the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world if the Soviet Union’s suggestion is accepted.

While the "iron curtain" separated the two parts of Europe, this alliance could not materialize. Communism had to be dismantled before prophecy could be fulfilled. As Mr. Gorbachev predicted, there will be "a commonwealth of independent nations pursuing one goal" (the Australian Magazine, February 1990); thus the superstructure for the restoration of the eighth apostate power which was part of the seventh—the Papacy—is already in place. As in the past, Satan has left no vacuum in his efforts, now so feverish, to subvert the faith of Christ.

Some have suggested that the brief alliance of the Papacy and the united nations of Europe will endure for just 15 days because Scripture testifies that they "receive power as kings one hour with the beast." (Revelation 17:12)

One hour is one twenty-fourth part of a day. Using prophetic symbolism, it would be equivalent to one twenty-fourth part of a Jewish year (360 days), or 15 days. The Greek word here translated as one hour sometimes implies a brief period of time; thus we cannot make a dogmatic statement about the duration of this unholy Roman alliance.

The nations of Europe will quickly see the folly of their action as the final events of earth’s history unfold; however, it will then be forever too late. At that time, they will turn on the Papacy with unprecedented ferocity.

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 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. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city [Rome], which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:16–18)

Before the end of April 1990, led by President François Mitterand of France, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany, the twelve nations of the European Economic Community were launched on a pathway toward political union. Their objective is to unify a common foreign and security policy by 1993. Such an achievement would lead the European Community of nations toward political unity. This goal was always in the minds of the early architects of the EEC, but few believed that it was attainable. Though Great Britain, Denmark, and Portugal expressed reservations and concerns about this direction, these concerns were not sufficient to dampen the enthusiasm of the majority of nations. (Washington Post, April 29 1990).

It is hard to project the impact of such a momentous decision. The Word of God clearly states that complete political union of these nations cannot be achieved, as we have seen (in chapter 20 entitled "European Political Unity"). The prophet Daniel in his interpretation of the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, foretold a collapse of the Babylonian kingdom and the subsequent rise and fall of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 2:36–40). The Roman Empire was not to be succeeded by another world political power; instead, it was to collapse into the ten divisions representing most of Europe. These ten divisions will never be united until the Lord sets up His kingdom.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 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. (Daniel 2:43, 44)

It is clear that there will be an intimate union as the nations of Europe unite together in "one mind" in order to serve the objectives of the Papacy, but Daniel’s prophecy assures us that this union will fall short of political integration.

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. (Revelation 17:12, 13)

The stunning events in Europe not only confirm Bible prophecy, but also give unmistakable evidence of the soon return of Jesus. Many will be shocked to learn that the European Economic Community has chosen the tower of Babel as its symbol and "Many Peoples, One Voice" as its motto.

Undoubtedly, every effort will be made to suppress efforts exposing the Papacy. Politicians in Great Britain are already talking of changing the blasphemy laws to cover materials that stir up religious hatred. Such laws would easily be applied to those who call men and women out of the Papacy.

As we observe these movements rapidly taking place before our very eyes,1 we need to press close to our God. Each must unreservedly dedicate his or her life to Jesus.

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:15)

1 One puzzling aspect of this prophecy is its comment concerning the kings that have received no kingdom as yet (Revelation 17:12). This may refer to the fact that the union of these European states would not lead to a political unity. Note that the word "kingdom" is in the singular. Another less likely interpretation is that other monarchies will be restored as the Spanish monarchy was at the time of the death of General Franco. A surprising number of monarchies are still functioning in Europe, including half of the members of the European Economic Community—Belgium Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Other monarchies in Europe are to be found in Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, and Sweden. The collapse of communism has raised the hopes of many claimants to the former thrones of Europe. Life magazine, March 1990, quoted King Michael of Romania as saying, "If they want me back, of course I will go. As constitutional monarch, I can guarantee the constitution, freedom, democracy." Several other deposed kings and descendants of such kings were cited to have similar desires. These included Grand Duke Vladimir of Russia; Germany’s Louis Ferdinand of Prussia; Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia; Otto, archduke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; King Simon II of Bulgaria; King Constantine II of Greece; and King Leka I of Albania. Others in France and Italy covet a return to a monarchial system.


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