And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. –Revelation 19:20
The Bible prophesies that a reborn Holy Roman Empire will be in power at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus. The Holy Roman Empire first came into existence in 800 AD when Pope Leo III placed a crown on the head of Charlemagne, pronouncing him emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The empire, throughout its 1,200- year history, has always been a union of politics and religion-thus the name “Holy-Roman”. Its leadership has always consisted of an alliance between a political leader and a religious leader. The political leader has always come from Europe, and the religious leader has always been the pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
It will be the same in the re-born Holy Roman Empire. Ultimately, the man called the Antichrist (or the beast) in the Bible will become the leader of the re-born empire. Whoever is pope at the time of the Antichrist-that man will be the False Prophet.
This should not come as a shock, even to Roman Catholics. It is taught in many Catholic prophecy books that there is an evil pope coming. (See The Coming Chastisement by Yves Dupont.)
Five powers were prophesied to rule the world from the time of Nebuchadnezzar until the Second Coming of Jesus. These five empires were depicted in a prophecy given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in a dream and interpreted by the prophet Daniel. (Daniel 2:31-45)
These world powers are depicted as sections of an image of a man. A man is used for the prophecy because it portrays the human governments that will rule on earth until the establishment of the kingdom of God.
The head of gold in the image represented the kingdom of Babylon, which ruled from 606 to 539 BC. The prophecy plainly tells us that the arms and breasts of silver symbolized the Media-Persian Empire that replaced the empire of Babylon and ruled from 539 to 331 BC.
After this, Alexander the Great conquered Media-Persia, establishing the world-dominating empire of Greece. The Grecian Empire was depicted as the belly and thighs of brass and ruled from 331 to 197 BC.
The legs of iron in the prophecy represented the same Roman Empire that ruled the world from 197 BC to 284 AD. It was the Roman Empire that ruled the world in the time of Christ. That’s the reason that Roman soldiers were present at the crucifixion. These were occupying forces, enforcing the will of the Roman government upon the people of Israel. The Roman Empire decayed from within and ceased to exist around 300 AD. Another global power did not emerge onto the world scene for almost 500 years.
It should be noted that there was a total change of metal each time the prophecy moved from one empire to the next. This was true every time except for the last. When the prophecy moved from the legs of iron to the feet of iron mingled with clay, the Roman element (iron) was retained, but another factor was adde-the clay. The feet and toes were of iron mingled with clay. The clay represented the religious element that was to be incorporated into the Roman Empire making it the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Empire began on December 25, 800 AD, when Pope Leo III put the crown on the head of Charlemagne, who was king of the Franks. The Holy Roman Empire has existed in Europe off and on since that time.
The prophecy states that a stone, which represents the kingdom of God, will smite the image on the feet of iron and clay. From this we know that the Holy Roman Empire will be reborn and in power when Jesus returns to earth to establish His kingdom.
We are watching the prophesied rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire right now. On October 29, 2004, the twenty-five member nations of the European Union signed the first European Constitution that has ever existed in the history of the world.
The EU flag illustrates the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the present European Union. The Catholic Church teaches that the woman with twelve stars about her head in Revelation 12:1, is the Virgin Mary. Mary is depicted many times in Catholic iconography with these twelve stars about her. When Arsene Heitz designed the EU flag, he used the twelve stars of Mary on a blue background to illustrate the role of the church in the newly reunited Europe. Europe’s flag bears the twelve stars, as do its automobile license plates and the euro, its currency. The prominent use of this symbol of Mary declares that the Roman Catholic Church is very much a partner in the European Union. The same Holy Roman Empire that has risen and fallen many times over the last 1,200 years is now reborn.
There are several specific events that are prophesied to occur right before and during the reign of the Antichrist. It is obvious that most of these things are in process of coming to pass right now. Let’s consider a few examples.
The scriptures teach that, seven years before Armageddon and the Second Coming, the Antichrist and the world community will confirm a covenant with Israel. This covenant will deal with the borders of the Holy Land, the status of Jerusalem and control of the Temple Mount.
The world community presented a peace plan called the Roadmap for Peace to Israel and the Palestinians in 2003. The Roadmap deals with the borders of the Holy Land, the status of Jerusalem and control of the Temple Mount. If the Roadmap for Peace is not the confirmation of the covenant, it certainly looks like it.
The Roadmap was stalled from 2003 to 2005. However, with the death of Yasser Arafat, world leaders are saying that the Roadmap will soon be back on track. It is very possible that the final seven years could begin soon.
The prophecy of Revelation 9:13-16 simply says that a war will emanate from the area of the Euphrates River and will result in the killing of one-third of mankind. The Euphrates originates in Turkey then flows through Syria and Iraq and joins the Tigris near the tip of Iran. Is the military activity along the Euphrates a coincidence, or does this have meaning for us?
The prophecy also states that an army of 200 million will be involved in this war that kills 2 billion human beings. Only one nation can presently put 200 million soldiers on the battlefield. The CIA World Factbook of 2003 says that China has over 200 million men of military age. Not until the last five years could any nation in existence make such a boast.
China has passed an antisecession law aimed at forcing Taiwan to unify with the mainland. The law authorizes the use of military force against Taiwan if she does not reunify voluntarily.
Only the military might of the U.S. is sufficient to kill one-third of mankind. The involvement of the United States in the coming war looks inevitable.
According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Revelation 11:1-2, a temple will be standing on the Temple Mount at least three and one-half years before the Battle of Armageddon.
For quite some time, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem has been recreating the furniture and the utensils needed for the resumption of worship in the Temple. All of these are now completed except for the Ark of the Covenant. Since Israel did not have the Ark of the Covenant during the Second Temple era, Jews believe they can proceed with the rebuilding of the temple without it.
The Sanhedrin was reborn in Israel on October 13, 2004. The Sanhedrin is now studying to determine exactlyÂ where the contemplated Third Temple should be built. If the Roadmap for Peace is implemented, it will provide for the sharing of the Temple Mount between Muslim and Jew. It appears that all the factors are now aligning for the temple to be rebuilt.
Of all the prophecies, this is the most dreaded. Revelation 13 simply says that every person will be required to receive a number or a mark of some sort in order to participate in the world’s economy.
The prophecy is 2,000 years old, but it could only be fulfilled since the invention of the computer and the advent of the Internet. The realization of this prophecy prior to today has been technologically impossible. However now it is all too possible!
At present, eighty-five percent of all financial transactions done in the world are performed electronically. Of course, a number is needed to make this possible. A social security number is required to hold a job, open a bank account or get a drivers’ license.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on February 10, 2005, called the Real ID Act. If passed by the Senate, you will be required to have an identity card containing your social security number. Without this card, you will not be permitted to board an airplane, a train, or enter Federal buildings. Your records will be in a database connected to the databases of the other forty-nine states. Once accomplished, the government will be positioned to exercise total control over your movements and your activities.
How far are we from the implementing of the mark of the beast? We are closer than we want to believe!
As we can see, all the prophecies pertaining to the endtime are coming to pass right now. Are we near the reign of the Antichrist? Certainly. Does this indicate that the next elected pope will be the False Prophet? We can’t yet say that for sure. We can say that it is a very real possibility! And it won’t be long before we know!