Europe in Bible Prophecy

Europe in Bible Prophecy, PDF format

EuropeEver since the European Union arose on the world stage, decades ago now, gradually increasing in power and strength, Futurist interpreters of prophecy have seen in the EU a fulfilment of the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation which speak of the “ten kings”, symbolised by “ten toes” and “ten horns”.  They have correctly understood that these refer to ten European nations; but thereafter their interpretation descends into error, for they claim that these prophecies will be fulfilled by modern European states eventually giving their support to some future, political individual, whom they identify with the Antichrist.  Futurism, by definition, assigns a future fulfilment to biblical prophecies.  Certainly, many Futurists would say that the future is now here, and that we are living through the early stages of the fulfilment of the prophecies; but when I say that Futurism holds to a future Antichrist, a future tribulation, a future “united states of Europe”, I mean that Futurism scoffs at the notion that many biblical prophecies were in fact fulfilled in past centuries, or that some of them started to be fulfilled centuries ago and have continued to be fulfilled to the present day.

  This is the Historicist understanding of Bible prophecy, and it was once almost universally held among Protestants; but in more recent times it came to be replaced by the Futurist theory.  This is a great tragedy, for in claiming that virtually all Bible prophecy has to do with a brief period of time near the end of the world, and with the Christians alive at that time and no others, Futurism essentially denies that history has fulfilled prophecy throughout the centuries of this Gospel age; and furthermore, it means that for all previous generations of Christians, through two thousand years of Church history, the prophecies of Daniel, Revelation, and elsewhere were essentially useless.  After all, why read and study things which will only supposedly be fulfilled during a short space of time in the future?  Truly, the Jesuit creator of this theory (yes, a Jesuit priest foisted it upon the world![1]) has caused untold confusion within the ranks of Protestantism!

  Let us then turn our attention to what Bible prophecy says about Europe. Certainly it has much to say – but not what Futurists would like to force it to say.

The EU Far Exceeds 10

  Decades ago, as the countries joining the European Union crept towards the number ten, Futurist prophecy expositors grew increasingly excited.  They saw the fulfilment of these prophecies as imminent!  And sure enough, the day came when there were ten member states of the EU.  Great jubilation in the Futurist camp!  Prophecy being fulfilled before everyone’s eyes!

  But wait… the number then climbed to eleven, then twelve, then thirteen, then fourteen.  What was going on?  As it steadily rose higher – and then still higher – various explanations were given, none of them satisfactory.  And where does the number stand now?  At 28!  The EU is today much, much larger than the ten it was supposed to stay at, according to the theory.

  But for those who were able to get past this irritating little fact and still see the EU as the sole fulfilment of the prophecies relating to the “ten kings”, they had other things to concern them.  For example: what happens if the EU one day disintegrates?  When the United Kingdom voted to exit the EU in 2016, this possibility became a very real one, and was openly expressed and discussed by the powers that be around the world.

Futurism: Speculation and Still More Speculation

  The problem for the Futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy is a twofold one.  In the first place, it is just so full of speculation.  This is not to be wondered at, because it is a futurist interpretation: by definition, it is about things still in the future (for the most part), and therefore things which may only be speculated about.  No hard evidence.  No historical fact.  This means it is constantly adjusting itself to take cognisance of new events as they arise. 

  To illustrate: take the subject of the identity of the Antichrist according to Futurists.  Those who claimed Saddam Hussein was the Antichrist had to re-adjust their belief after his demise.  Those who placed all their hopes on Henry Kissinger for the position look decidedly out of date now.  Those who had Mikhail Gorbachev pegged for the Antichrist are now pretty silent.  Barack Obama’s Antichrist credentials looked unassailable to many Futurists, but that particular craze died down as well. 

  Or take the subject of the system through which, according to Futurists, the Antichrist will supposedly arise.  For decades, many Futurists were certain it would be Communism.  In the 1970s we heard about the Russian “bear”, the Russian “Gog and Magog”, all the time; but now?  Not so much.  With the (false) “death” of Communism and the rise of global Islam, Communism began to be nudged to the side.  Now, Islam is very often held up as the most popular contender for the system through which Antichrist may come to power.

  Communism is not dead, and is indeed an extremely dangerous ideology, as is Islam.  But neither one of them will vomit out a future Antichrist, because Bible prophecy makes it clear that he is not some future, individual, political world leader.  The Antichrist has been here for centuries already.  It is the pope of Rome.  Each and every pope of Rome, in a long line through the centuries.[2]

  The problem for the Futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy is that, because it squeezes almost all prophecy into the very narrow limits of a very short period of time right near the end of the world, it has to reject an understanding of Bible prophecy which takes into account centuries of history.  It cannot bear the thought that much of Bible prophecy has been fulfilled already, or is in the process of being fulfilled over a vast period of time.  It arrogantly asserts that prophecy is only really profitable for the saints who will be living at the very end of the world.  It cheerfully leapfrogs over all the past centuries of the history of the Church and of the world, and claims that what the Lord had to say in prophecy, He said for the benefit of the Lord’s people alive just prior to His second coming, and no one else. 

Europe will NEVER Unite!

  Is the European Union, then, revealed in prophecy?  And as no other prophecies have ever been applied to it by Futurists except the ones which speak of the “ten toes”, the “ten horns” and the “ten kings” (which, admittedly, do refer to European nations), this question can be put as follows:

  Is the European Union the fulfilment of the prophecies about the “ten kings”?

  The answer is as follows:

  Firstly, these prophecies have been fulfilled in centuries past already, and are still being fulfilled.  It is a fallacy to interpret them as finding their fulfilment solely in the modern-day institution known as the European Union.

  Secondly, the prophecies of Daniel do speak of the attempts made, through the centuries, to unite the nations of Europe politically; but they also speak of the fact that all such attempts are doomed to fail.  They do not predict a true and lasting merging of the European nations.  This is reading more into them than is actually there.  The EU is simply the most recent attempt to unite the nations of Europe.  It may yet collapse, but even if it continues to exist, the EU will not be a true uniting of the peoples of Europe (it will only be a top-down, enforced “unity”, if it happens, not a true merging of the diverse peoples of Europe); and it will not be the fulfilment of some prophecy which speaks of a true union occurring.  For prophecy says the very opposite – that this will never happen! 

Understanding Prophecy Requires Much Labour

  To properly grasp the Historicist exposition of Bible prophecy, it is necessary to work through the many prophecies systematically and in detail.  Far too many Christians have a tendency to “dive into” Bible prophecy at any point (usually at some favourite point, such as Revelation 13, always very popular) and expect to grasp the meaning of the prophecies at that point, without any reference to the context in which they were given, to the prophecies which went before them or the ones which come after them, and without wanting to expend the necessary labour required to carefully study these great matters, so as to properly understand them.  This is a tendency to be deplored.  Unfortunately, in a pamphlet such as this, such a detailed exposition is not possible.  Much will have to be omitted.  For this reason, the reader is referred to my sermon series on these prophecies for further details,[3] as well as to books written by men who faithfully upheld the biblical Historicist position.[4] 

The “Ten Kings” Came into Existence Centuries Ago

  In Daniel, chapter two, in the dream which King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed, and which Daniel interpreted, he saw a great image; and the feet of the image were of iron and clay (v.34).  Daniel interpreted this as follows, in verses 41-43:

 “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.  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.”

  The image was that of a man.  Its iron legs represented the great might and firmness of the Roman Empire.  But the feet (with their ten toes) were a mixture of iron and clay.  They represented another phase of the Roman Empire, when it would be divided, and therefore partly strong and partly weak.  In the fourth century AD, the empire was divided into two parts, the western and the eastern, symbolised by the two legs.  But then in the fifth century AD, the western empire was divided into ten barbarian kingdoms – conforming to the ten toes of the image in the dream!  These were the Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Visigoths, Vandals, etc.  And these ten kingdoms of Daniel 2 are the same as the ten horns of the fourth beast of Dan.7:7,24, and the same as the ten horns of the beast in the book of Revelation (Rev.13:1; 17:3,12,16).

  Then, during the centuries that followed, these barbarian kingdoms gradually developed into the European nations as we know them today.  Through the centuries there were not always ten exactly.  Sometimes there were more, sometimes less, as a result of wars, shifts in power, the fall of some kingdoms and the rise of others, etc.  But regardless of what their number was in the centuries that came afterwards, in prophecy they are referred to as being ten, from the fact that this was their original number, and from the fact that, very remarkably, they have usually been nearer to ten than to any other number at any given time!  Thus ten was the average number throughout the years. And as E.B. Elliott pointed out in the nineteenth century, in his monumental work, Horae Apocalypticae: “At certain long subsequent epochs of note, notwithstanding many intervening revolutions and changes in Western Europe, the number ten will be found to have been observed on from time to time, as that of the Western Roman or Papal kingdoms.  So Gibbon, with reference to the 12th century; Daubuz to the time of the Reformation; Whiston to the commencement of the 18th century; and finally Cuninghame to the regal governments at the last great political settlement of Europe, AD 1815.”[5]

  These remarkable prophecies, then, began to be fulfilled many centuries ago.  They did not have to wait for the rise of the European Union for their fulfilment!

Roman Catholic in Religion, but Politically and Culturally Separate – Always  

  In v. 41 it says that “there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.”  Once the western empire was divided into these barbarian kingdoms, it still retained some of the iron strength which had once characterised the empire when it was united.  But the iron was mixed with miry clay!  Meaning, it was partly strong, and partly weak.  Historically, some of the ten kingdoms were strong, whereas others were weak.

  Then in v. 42 it says that “as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.”  This is similar to v.41.  But the toes of the feet being part of iron and part of clay actually represent three things, two of which are found in verses 41 and 42, and the third in v.43. 

  The first interpretation that can be given to vv. 41 and 42 is that the iron and clay symbolise the strength of some of the ten kingdoms and the weakness of others.  But the second interpretation that can be given to these two verses is that the iron and clay also symbolise the strength and weakness of the empire itself.  Specifically, the iron symbolises the spiritual strength of the Roman Empire after its division into the ten kingdoms, and the clay symbolises the political weakness of the empire after this division.

  There was a unifying force that held the barbarian kingdoms together; and this was the so-called “Catholic Church,” centred in Rome, which was the spiritual power of the Roman Empire, and which developed political power in the process of time!  Thus, although the political empire was divided into ten kingdoms, the spiritual empire did not collapse, and was not divided, but continued on through the centuries.

  In the early fourth century AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine professed conversion to “Christianity”.  He was never truly converted at all; he merely pretended to be.  But he declared that the empire would now be “Christian.”   The so-called “Catholic” bishops and people were given protected status, and the so-called “Catholic Church” became the “State Church”, the State religion of the Roman Empire.  And so it came to be that the empire was now unified by its new State religion, which was nothing less than a counterfeit “Christianity”!  As one historian, writing in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, accurately put it: “The empire was now the church; it was now indeed indestructible, for if it perished as an empire, it would live as a church.  But the church made it certain that it would not perish, even as an empire, for many centuries to come.”  State and “Church” were now one.  They became two sides of the same coin: the one side political, the other spiritual.

  So then, when the barbarian invasions occurred, the Roman Empire was divided into ten.  But the Roman “Church” did not collapse.  The Britannica states that the impact of the barbarian invasions “seemed to split the empire into fragmentary kingdoms; yet it left the Universal Church intact, and with it the conception of empire.”  Although the political empire was divided, the spiritual empire was not.  The “iron” in the toes held the toes together even when mixed with clay.  The bishop of Rome became, increasingly, the spiritual Roman Emperor of the West.  

  The political Roman Empire was fragmented into ten smaller, less powerful kingdoms.  And this state of affairs would continue throughout the centuries to come.  For as powerful as some of those kingdoms became, the political unity of the old Roman Empire was gone.  The nations of Europe were not united.

  At times, the only thing the various European nations had in common was the Roman Catholic religion!  Until the Protestant Reformation, Europe was almost completely Papist in religion.  The Papist religion was the cement (the iron) that held Europe together.  As diverse as the nations of Europe were in other ways, their one unifying force was Roman Catholicism.  And although the Reformation resulted in the formation of such ecclesiastical institutions as Anglicanism, Lutheranism, etc., essentially the same religious system persisted in them!  For as Scripture says, they were simply “daughters” of the Papal Mother of Harlots (Rev.17:5).  They were still “State Churches”; still persecuted those who differed with them; still taught the heresy of baptismal regeneration, among other errors; and still retained a great many Popish trappings.[6]

  But there is also a third meaning to the iron and clay.  It is found in v.43, which states that “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.”

  This verse does not contradict v.41, which says, “thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay”.  Iron does not mix with clay in the sense of being mixed in with it, cemented together, so that the two merge and lose their separate identities.  But they can be said to mix in the sense of iron being between the clay, and clay between the iron.

  The different nations of Europe would try to mix in together; they would intermarry with one another; form political alliances; and so on.  The royal families of the European nations constantly intermarried, over the centuries, for strategic political alliances.  The kings and queens of Europe tried their best to “mingle themselves” time and again through the centuries.  And they still try today!  But the verse goes on to say that they would fail.  The European nations did not permanently cleave to one another, despite all attempts to make them do so through the centuries!  They have remained separate.

  This is the clear teaching of Daniel chapter 2.  And if we carefully examine Daniel chapter 7, we find that it simply speaks of the rise of the ten kingdoms in history (called “ten horns”), and of the Roman Papacy (“the little horn”) in the midst of them.  It certainly shows that the ten kingdoms would give their allegiance, spiritually, to the Papacy; but not a word is spoken about a time coming when they would all successfully and completely unite as one, politically!  History is full of their attempts to do so – but attempting is not the same as succeeding!  

  As for what the book of Revelation says about the ten horns: over and over, in chapters 12, 13 and 17, it speaks of the ten horns.  It states that the ten horns serve the Roman Papal beast.  But it does not prophesy of a time when the ten would successfully form a gigantic political union of European states at the end of time!  Not a word is said about such a thing.

  There is, however, one place in Revelation 17 which may, at first glance, appear (more so than the other texts concerning the ten kings) to be speaking of an end-time union of European states, and this is Rev. 17:12-17.  Let us examine this text more closely, to see what it is really teaching.

  V.12 says, “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.”

  The ten horns were the barbarian kingdoms into which the western Roman Empire broke up in the fifth century AD.   John was given this vision in the first century AD, so they had not come into existence when he wrote; which is why the verse says they “have received no kingdom as yet”.

  As stated previously, there were sometimes more than ten, and sometimes less, because of wars between them, merges, shifts in power, the fall of some of the kingdoms, the rise of others, etc.  But ten was their original number, and ten was their average number through the centuries.

  V.12 goes on to say of these ten kingdoms that they “receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”  And because of these words, Futurist interpreters of prophecy wrongly assume that at some point in the near future, the western European countries will successfully unite with one another (the EU, they believe), and with the supposed future Antichrist.  However, not only do these words say absolutely nothing about a gigantic European union of states, but this prophecy was in fact fulfilled in the past!

  While the Roman emperor reigned, the popes of Rome did not rise to great power over the whole empire.  They had to wait until the empire and its emperor, which prevented the Papacy rising to supreme power, was removed; which is precisely what Paul prophesied about, in 2 Thess. 2:6-8.  When the barbarian kingdoms destroyed the empire and removed the emperor, in the late fifth century AD, then it was that the Papal beast could rise to its position of supreme power!  And it did.

  Therefore, just as v.12 says, the ten kings received power with the Papal beast.

  This is how John Gill put it, commenting on Rev. 17:12 (Gill was often incorrect in his understanding of prophetic things; but on this issue he put it very well): “Their rise was with the Papal beast, who rose not to his supreme power and dignity until the western emperor, which let and hindered, was removed out of the way; which was done by the barbarous nations, who set up these kingdoms, which made way for the lordly and tyrannical government of the pope of Rome; so that he and they rose up together: and this may be meant by the one hour: namely, that at one and the same hour or season he came to his supreme authority and grandeur, and they received their kingly power with him”.

  But also, we can read it as meaning that “for just a short period of time” they received power as kings, by his permission!  And he took that same power away from them as he pleased.  The phrase “one hour” may refer to the very short period of time when those kings continued in their greatness and dignity.  And this is because, although they were kings in name, yet because of their subjection to the pope of Rome, they did not have supreme power!  He did, over them.  And he could, and did, depose them from their positions whenever it suited him.  The great city of the beast, the city on seven hills, reigns over the kings of the Roman earth, as verse 18 says; they were called kings, but they were servants, vassals, of the pope of Rome.  He was the one wielding supreme power over them.  As v.13 says, they gave their power and strength to him. 

  V.13: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

  This is precisely what the ten kingdoms did throughout the centuries of Papal power that followed: with “one mind” during those centuries, they gave their authority (“power”) and their might (“strength”) to the Papal beast. 

  We are not to understand that this power and strength was always total, without interruptions or breaks.  There were times, throughout the Papacy’s 1260 years of its greatest power, when this king or that one rebelled, etc.; but the words mean that as a general rule, this was the case.  The western European nations that developed from those original ten kingdoms by and large gave their power and strength to the beast, having one mind to serve the popes of Rome.  The Romish religion is what united them.  And they gave the Papal beast power to exercise all religious authority in their kingdoms; to control all religious matters, and even to place their countries under interdict.  In addition, they kingdoms lent their power to the beast, fighting for him, etc.

  But note: these words do not say that these kings will unite together politically into one giant super-state!  Yes, in the past they had “one mind” to serve the Papal beast, and this they did; but they retained their separate identities and they often warred with one another.  The Romish religion united them religiously, as Roman Catholics, but politically they remained very separate.

How Do the “Ten Kings” “Make War with the Lamb”?

  V.14 says: “These shall make war with the Lamb”.  These ten kingdoms would make war with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.  But how, when, where?

  The Futurist theory claims that this occurs at Christ’s second coming.  At that time (so the theory goes, at least by some), the countries of the European Union will turn their modern weapons on the Lord Christ and His angels as He descends form the heavens, and fight with Him.

  But this is absurd.  The leaders of the world do not believe in Him coming again anyway, so why would they even be ready for His return, to fight with Him?  And how could they even be in a position to fight against Him?  They would be terror-stricken, amazed, shocked, filled with awe, to see the Son of God descending with power on the last day!  They would be in no position to train their firepower on Him!  This theory seems to revolve around the idea that the Lord is going to return like some kind of alien starship, while being monitored on government systems worldwide!  It sounds like some stupid Hollywood movie, but it is not the truth of Scripture.

  What, then, do these words mean?

  In Acts 9:3-5, when the Lord Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, He said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” and, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest”.  Yet Paul had never personally persecuted the Lord Jesus when He ministered on earth.  The Lord meant that as He is the Head of His Church, and the Church is His body (see Eph. 5), when Paul persecuted members of the true Church he was persecuting Christ the Head of the Church.  What was done to His body was done to Him.  In Matt. 25:40 the Lord said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  What is done to Christ’s brethren is done to Christ Himself! 

  When, therefore, it says the ten horns make war with the Lamb, it means they make war with the Lamb’s followers!  They make war with the Church of Christ the Lamb.  In waging war against Christ's Church, they were waging war against Christ Himself.

  But when and where does this occur?

  In a general way, these words are fulfilled whenever true Christians are persecuted by the rulers of western Christendom.  It was fulfilled many times in the past, and yes – it is being fulfilled again today, in Europe, through the diabolical European Union.  The EU is extremely dangerous to European Christians, and through EU legislation the net is closing in on Christians.  All kinds of legislation is being brought in, to restrict Christians and to punish them if they violate the legislation.  For example, the pro-sodomy legislation that has been enacted: when Christians take a stand against this, they are persecuted.  Or the legislation regarding raising children, disciplining them, etc.: if Christians act according to the Scriptures, they are persecuted.  Or interfaith legislation: if Christians speak out against false religion, they may now be persecuted.

  But this has happened many times before, in Europe.  True Christians through the centuries have been terribly persecuted by European Roman Catholic powers.  This is not new, it is not unique to our times.

  And more particularly, the fulfilment of these words occurred in the period before the Protestant Reformation: those terrible Dark Ages, when the Papacy massacred huge numbers of Christians by making use of the political and military power of the European Roman Catholic kings.  Rome’s control over those kings was so great at that time that they did whatever the popes of Rome told them to do.  And the popes of Rome instructed them to persecute the followers of the Lamb unto death!  The persecution continued through the centuries.  Wars, massacres, bloodshed, tortures, cruelties of all kinds.  Year after year, century after century: the Waldenses; Albigenses; Anabaptists; Lollards; and so many others.

  V.14 then says: “and the Lamb shall overcome them”.  This is so encouraging.  In general, the meaning is that despite all that these Papist European powers have sought to do to Christ’s true Church, He has protected it.  Yes, many have been killed; but has the true Church ceased to exist on the earth?  No!  The gates of hell have not prevailed against it.  Christ has overcome, and will continue to do so.

  But more specifically, this was fulfilled when, despite the Papist European nations warring against the true Church through the Dark Ages, the time came when the Lord sent the Reformation!  And so the Lamb overcame the horns, by causing some of those very nations, once so Papist, to cast off the Papal yoke and become independent of the pope’s authority.  And those nations then became places of refuge for the Lord’s persecuted people – as did the colonies they established, such as in America, South Africa, and elsewhere.  After centuries of suffering at the hands of the European Papist powers, the Lord Jesus Christ overcame them by changing the political landscape, bringing in much more religious freedom, stopping many of the persecutions, etc.

The Historical Commencement of the “Ten Kings” Destroying the Whore of Rome

  V. 16 says: “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.”

  What an awful and graphic description!  At first they love the Romish harlot; but they end up hating her, as Amnon hated Tamar after he lay with her, even though he loved her before.  But when, and why? 

  Now, when did the ten kings end up hating the Whore, which is the Roman Catholic “Church”? 

  They started to do so at the time of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, when some of those nations and their monarchs rejected the control of the so-called “Church” of Rome and its pope.  And that hatred continued into the time of the French Revolution – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that hatred was re-ignited then.  For so long they had loved her; but now they saw through many of her lies, deceits, treacheries, and how she had used and abused them for centuries, taking their wealth, their people, and generally suppressing them in all kinds of ways.

  But did all ten of the horns end up hating the Whore?  Hatred cannot always be seen.  It may simmer in the heart, without being noticed on the outside.  It is true that not all ten attacked the Whore, made her desolate and naked, or burned her, at the time of the Reformation or the French Revolution; but certainly all ten hated her!  After all those centuries of suppression, there was deep-seated hatred towards her, but not all acted upon it.

  Besides, when it says that the ten hated her, made her desolate and naked, and burned her with fire, we do not have to read this as meaning all ten literally did these things.  The ten are always united in prophetic Scripture, even though history shows that not all ten act in the same way, nor to the same degree.  But what some of them do is written of as if all of them did it, because the horns are always written of as a group of ten.

  At the time of the Reformation, during the reign of King Henry VIII in England, monasteries were dissolved, etc.  In other parts of Europe, in various ways the Papal possessions were often taken from them.  And during the French Revolution France revolted against the Papacy, and the Whore was made “desolate and naked”, the hate-filled revolutionaries “ate her flesh”, and they “burned her with fire.”  Thousands of Romish religious buildings were destroyed, and priests and nuns were killed in terrible ways.  And the terrible destruction and suffering continued after the French Revolution as well – right into the twentieth century, in fact.  For example, although in 1929 Mussolini established the Vatican City State, and a semblance of temporal authority was restored to the Roman pope, yet still the hatred of various European governments towards the Whore continued.  During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Roman Catholic “church” buildings were burned, the wealth of the so-called “Church” confiscated, and priests were killed in their thousands. 

  In the light of these historical facts:

  “Desolate and naked” refers to the governments rejecting the Whore; quitting their fornication with her; stopping her religious activities and drawing people away from her.  In addition, taking away her wealth, her power and authority, leaving her desolate, and stripping her of her properties and possessions, leaving her naked. 

  “Eating her flesh” would also refer to the confiscation of her properties, etc.  Perhaps we could say the first wave of stripping her of her properties and possessions left her naked; but the successive waves meant her very flesh was now consumed.

  As for “burning her with fire”, this quite simply means destroying her properties, burning them to the ground, etc.

In What Way Do the “Ten Kings” “Agree”?

  V. 17 says: “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.”

  This shows God’s total control over world events.  It was He who “put it in their hearts” to fulfil His will regarding all that He had appointed to occur in history by means of the Whore, the Beast, and the ten horns.  They of course had no idea that it was God who put it in their hearts: see Isa. 10:5-7,13,15.

  God put it in their hearts to “agree”.  But as we have seen, Dan. 2:43 says of these ten kingdoms that they did not cleave one to another.  They were never perfectly united; they did not agree on a great many things; but they agreed among themselves as regards their religion, and as regards their war with the Lamb!  They had one mind (v.13) when it came to faithfully serving the Papacy, and persecuting the Lord’s people, destroying the true Church, and thereby opposing the Lord Christ Himself. 

  The Papist European nations gave their kingdoms to the Roman Papacy.  And this would be “until the words of God shall be fulfilled”.  Meaning, until all the prophecies pertaining to them, found in God’s Word, are fulfilled; until God has done what He purposed to do in and through them. 

  And this brings us to the European Union of today. 

The European Union: No, Europe is NOT Truly Uniting

  Many Futurist interpreters of Bible prophecy claim that, finally, the nations of Europe are uniting, in fulfilment (they believe) of Bible prophecy.  But as shown above, the prophecies about the “ten horns” have been fulfilled in centuries past already, and are still being fulfilled.  They are not fulfilled solely by the EU of modern times!  And also, although the prophecies of Daniel reveal the attempts made, through the centuries, to unite the nations of Europe politically (and the EU is simply the latest and most ambitious attempt to bring this about), they reveal that all such attempts are doomed to fail.  Nothing is said, in these prophecies, about a true and lasting merging of the European nations. 

  Yes, it is true that European borders have virtually come down; that the member states have a single currency, a European parliament, and all kinds of European laws.  But despite all these things, and the appearance of unity on the surface, the peoples of the various nations of Europe are not cleaving one to another.  They are not uniting.  And what is more, there is nothing in Daniel or Revelation which says they will!  In fact, as shown above, Bible prophecy says quite the opposite!

  There will never be a time when Dan.2:43 will not be true of the nations that developed from the ten kingdoms of the fifth century: “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.”

  The Lord has spoken, and that settles it!

Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  This pamphlet was first published in July 2016.  For other pamphlets (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, articles, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, please send your details.


[1]. See Trappings of Popery, by Shaun Willcock.  Bible Based Ministries, 2007.  Available from Bible Based Ministries:



[2]. The Antichrist (pamphlet), by Shaun Willcock; and The Antichrist (MP3/CD recording, five sermons), by Shaun Willcock.  All available from Bible Based Ministries:



[3]. For a complete list of these recorded sermons, including verse-by-verse expositions of all the prophecies of Daniel and the entire book of Revelation (available in MP3 format and on CDs), the reader is urged to visit the Bible Based Ministries website, and to go to the list of sermons under the subject of “Bible Prophecy”:



[4]. The best of them all is Horae Apocalypticae, by E.B. Elliott, in four volumes, and published in the nineteenth century.  Despite certain errors, this is the most exhaustive treatment of the Historicist position ever undertaken.



[5]. Horae Apocalypticae, by E.B. Elliott, Vol. 3, pg. 142.  Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, London, Fifth edition 1862.



[6]. See the author’s book, Trappings of Popery.  Bible Based Ministries, 2007.  Available from Bible Based Ministries:


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