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EU collapse: Doom For Popular Bible Prophesies?
User ID: 984152
06/04/2010 04:43 PM
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[link to www.prophezine.com]
Nearly 20 years ago, I intently watched as a very popular Christian television prophecy teacher declared, "The present formation of the European Union is literally the fulfillment of Bible prophecy right before our eyes!"
According to this teacher, the creation of the European Union represented a biblically prophesied revived Roman Empire. Because the last-days empire of the Antichrist, as described in the books of Daniel and Revelation, is portrayed as a 10-nation alliance, thisteacher confidently declared that when the number of EU member states reached 10, this would signal the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
Soon, the number of EU member states reached the magic number 10, just as this teacher had predicted. Then the number reached 11, and then 12. Soon there were 20. Today there are 27 member states. The teacher's very confident predictions failed.
In the 1970s, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, known by most as the Jehovah's Witnesses, made similar false predictions, leading its members to believe that Jesus would return in 1975. I was just a kid in '75, and to the best of my recollections, the return of Christ did not occur that year, but I do distinctly remember playing with my G.I. Joe figures as the radio played the newly released Bee Gees hit, "Jive Talkin'" – which is exactly what the Watchtower organization began doing immediately after their predictions failed.
Its jive-talking, excuse-making came in the way of an article claiming that the way of the righteous is much like sailing, which requires one to tack into the wind in a back-and-forth, zigzagging manner to ultimately move forward. While many followers dropped out of the Jehovah's Witness group during the immediateyears following 1975, many die-hards swallowed the whole tacking explanation, hook-line and sinker.
Likewise, despite the failure of the European Union to literally fulfill Bible prophecy, many have refused to let the details deter them from continuing to teach that "this is that which was prophesied!" Many prophecy teachers have been determinedly tacking in the wind foryears now, expressing no less expectancy today than 20 years ago.
Since 1993, with the official formation of the European Union, many prophecy teachers have set their prophetic imagination like flint on Europe, confident that someday soon, the EU would invade the Nation of Israel and actually dominate the whole earth. Surely we are witnessing the emergence of the restored Roman Empire that will ultimately come to be controlled by the Antichrist himself, they would declare. But the present harsh realities in Europe may soon cause all of this Euro-centric, restored Roman Empire prognosticating to come crashing down. And even as there was a small army of disillusioned Jehovah's Witnesses in 1976, we may also soon see a much larger group of disillusioned Christians wondering in the world what happened.
As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece's economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive.
Many staunch adherents to the Euro-centric end-time theory are slowly awakening to the possibility that soon there may not even be a European Union at all. How this will affect the landscape of popular Christian Bible prophecy interpretation is actually quite a significant issue. How will prophecy teachers and students alike respond if the EU does collapse? Could it be that what theBible actually teaches is that the Roman Empire would revive, then collapse and then revive again? Not likely.
While such a scenario will surely invite mockery from the new atheists, what is important to remember is that if the EU does collapse, this does not represent a failure on the prophetic accuracy of theBible, but simply of a particular school of interpretation. Atheists come and go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever, baby.
Despite its popularity, the Euro-centric end-time perspective has never represented anything akin to Christian orthodoxy or dogma. Throughout the history of the church, many great Christian leaders have looked not to Europe, but to the Middle East for the emergence of an end-time empire. In fact, going back to the first few centuries of the church, the consistent testimony of the early believers is that the Antichrist, his empire and his religion would arise from out of the Middle East, and not Europe. As such, rather than tacking in the wind yet again, what many teachers and students ofBible prophecy are awakening to is the reality that the Biblical prophecies about the last days are thoroughly Jerusalem, Israel and Middle-Eastern centric.
What many Westerners, and perhaps Americans most of all, often fail to recognize is the fact that the Bible is a thoroughly Eastern book. It always has been. As shocking as this may be to some, the Bible was not written primarily for Americans.
Today, many scholars, students and teachers alike are acknowledging the consistent testimony of the prophets as pointing us to the Middle East. As any realtor will tell you, it's all about location, location, location. Likewise, as anyone astute Bible student should know, the first issue that must be established when attempting to properly interpret the Bible is context, context, context. And simply stated, the context of virtually all biblical prophecy is Israel and the Middle East.
Jesus will not be returning to Paris, London or Independence, Mo., but rather Jerusalem. Literally every last one of the final battles as depicted by all of the biblical prophets takes place in Israel and the surrounding vicinity. When the prophets specify which nations surround Israel to attack her, the wording used in Hebrew is goyim caybib, which translated means "the surrounding nations." These are Israel's neighbors; they are not references to Belgium or Luxembourg or Rome.
Will the European Union collapse? Only time will tell, but I certainly hope that it does not. Such a scenario could only have devastating reverberations globally. And so for the good of Europe and the world, I pray that the EU remains solvent and unified.
On the other hand, somewhere out there, there are still a handful of Christian teachers who are praying that the EU will survive, not for the good of the people who live there, but rather because without the EU, they will be seen to have been determinedly tacking in the wind for all theseyears, completely in vain.
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