He will emerge from obscurity, but by dint of his diplomatic skill he will win the admiration and compel the cooperation of the political world. In the early stages of his career he appears as “a little horn” (or power), but it is not long before he climbs the ladder of fame, and by means of brilliant statesmanship, ascends its topmost rung. Like the majority of politicians, he will not scruple to employ questionable methods; in fact it will be by diplomatic chicanery and intrigue that he will win his early successes. Daniel 11:21 tells us that at first they will not give to him the honor of the kingdom, but “he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” Once he gains the ascendancy none will dare to challenge his authority. Kings will be his pawns and princes his playthings.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ANTICHRIST
HE WILL BECOME STRONG WITH A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE
Daniel 11:21, 23, states: “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully; for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.”
Some say these passages refer to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a ruler of ancient Greece, reputed as a famous persecutor of the Jews. While he represents a prototype of the final world ruler; this prediction describes how the Antichrist comes into power. The people do not elect the Commission President. The Council of Ministers consults with the European Parliament, and nominates the person they intend to appoint to the Commission presidency. This nomination, subject to a vote and the approval of the European Parliament, concludes by the Council of Ministers’ appointment. The “small number of people” refers to this close-knit group of EU bureaucrats who place him in power. It may also signify his being a prime minister from one of the smaller EU countries. To date, European Commission Presidents have held prior EU posts such as officials from one of the Member States and former prime ministers.
During the 2009 nomination of the first EU Council President, journalists noted that EU leaders strategized picking someone from a small country with little international power instead of a charismatic heavyweight. As the EU chose former Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy as the new Council President and Britain’s Catherine Ashton for the post of EU High Representative a headline reported, “Unknown duo chosen as new faces of Europe.” The idea is that a low key leader will be more effective in achieving consensus among so many leaders of the various nations than a well-known charismatic one. According to the Associated Press: “for EU leaders to pick a boss they can all live with, they must strike the right balance between big countries and small, east and west, socialists and conservatives, perhaps male and female. They must maneuver between proponents of a strong Europe and those who fear it-Eurocentric’s and euro skeptics, in the local parlance.” The EU will select the leader who the Bible deems as the Antichrist in the same manner.
HE WILL BE IN A FEDERATON WITH TEN KINGS
Revelation 17:12-13 tells us: “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast, these are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.”
This verse describes the relationship of the ten kings to the Antichrist. They both strive for the same goals. One entity does not exist without the other. The Council of The European (formerly Council of Ministers) give their strength and power to the Commission. Without the member nations that hand over their authority to the Commission, there would be no European Union. Several articles in the EU Treaty reflect their having one mind. Article 162 states: “The Council and the Commission shall consult each other and settle by common accord their methods of cooperation.”
The Scriptures are unprecedented in their accuracy and detail. Although written 1,900 years ago, one Bible verse epitomizes the contents of two treaties in just 14 words.
“These shall have one mind and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast.”
Over and over, one reads of the Commission’s and Council Ministers’ simultaneous role. Peter Ludlow, the founding director of the Centre For European Policy Studies think-tank in Brussels, referred to the Commission-Council relationship as a “partnership.” Of the EU’s institutions, the Commission and the Council (of Ministers) represent the leading authorities. The Court enforces EU laws, and the Parliament acts as a forum with some legislative powers.
HE WILL BE BOTH PRESIDENT AND FOREIGN MINISTER
The Commission negotiates treaties, making agreements with other nations and with world organizations. It makes recommendations to the Council of the European Union i.e. the Council of Ministers, which authorizes the opening of negotiations and conducts them. Special committees formed by the Council assist the Commission. The Commission proposes agreements to the Council, which votes by a qualified majority, consults with the European Parliament, and then concludes the agreements. The Commission President thus negotiates and signs treaties with other nations. The Commission can impose sanctions on third world countries. It maintains EU relations with the UN, WTO and all other world institutions. The Council and the Commission take responsibility for ensuring the consistency of all EU policies.
THE ANTICHRIST WILL HAVE A DIVERSE ROLE FROM THAT OF THE TEN KINGS
Daniel 7:24 states: “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise; from this kingdom and another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones.”
As the EU’s executive arm, the Commission’s major responsibility is to oversee EU treaties. It initiates EU laws and policy. Thus, the Higher Authority acts as the lawmaker while the Council of the European Union approves the laws.
HIS POSITION WILL GIVE HIM THE POWER TO EXPEL THREE OF THE KINGS
Daniel 7:24 continues, “…and shall subdue three kings.” Regarded as the “Guardian of the Treaties,” the Commission can take action against member governments that it believes have violated their treaty obligations. It proposes to the Court of Justice the fines imposed on Member States proven in default under the treaty. Presently, the Union cannot expel a Member, but allowing this action has come under discussion. The Lisbon Treaty amended articles to allow a nation to withdraw from the Union.
AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE WHO WILL BUY AND SELL WITH HIS GOVERNMENT
Revelation 13:17 tells us: “and that no one may buy or sell, except one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
This passage deals with individuals living under the Antichrist’s dictatorship, and extends to persons worldwide. The Commission initiates the Union’s internal market policy and external trade, including that with the US. It determines the guidelines for trade with other countries, as well as for its members within the Union. Thus, the Commission determines with whom it will buy and sell, and how. The Commission also negotiates international trade agreements.
THE ANTICHRIST WILL CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS
Daniel 7:25 reports: “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and laws.” The Commission introduces EU legislation, carries out decisions, and oversees the enforcement of European laws. With this authority, the Antichrist can easily implement his laws and change existing ones.
HE WILL HAVE DIRECT ACCESS TO RECENT TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS, AND CONTROL OVER THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Revelation 13:16-17 states: “And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their foreheads; And that no one may buy or sell, except one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” The Commission oversees the research and development of new technologies. It determines which programs and projects will receive funding. The development of new technologies remains an EU priority. The Antichrist will have access to those new technological systems, and the power to authorize their implementation.
HIS GOVERNMENT MUST GIVE RISE TO A DICTATORSHIP
Revelation 13:15 tells us that he was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” The Antichrist kills those who do not worship him-a common trait of most dictatorships. Dictators reign from political positions that provide them with complete authority. The Commission’s authorities are not balanced by either the Court of Justice or the Parliament. The European people do not elect its members, although it is the EU’s executive arm, making it a non-democratic institution.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in a major speech in Bruges, Belgium, assailed the idea of a supranational European State. In an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Jacques Delors had predicted that by the mid-1990s, the EU would develop “an embryo European government.” Thatcher referred to these possible developments as “a nightmare” that would create “bureaucratic centralism” in the EU. She also warned:
“We fought two world wars to make the world a safer place for democracy. Here we are preaching more democracy to the old Communist Soviet Union and ourselves practicing less democracy and more bureaucracy.”
During Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister, she stood as a strong opponent of a federal Europe and represented the lone ranger among the other members of the European Council. In her later years she gave speeches against a European superstate. Mrs. Thatcher stated that a United States of Europe will endanger world peace. Thatcher uttered her strongest statement when she called the European Federalist project, “a nightmare.” She asked: “Were it to come about does anyone suppose that such a power would not soon become a rival to America? ……If this new Europe were not to follow the path to separate great power status, it would be the first such power in history to renounce its independent role.”
Margaret Thatcher saw from the beginning that the Commission held too much power in the institutional power balance. She understood that this amount of centralized power can lead to a dictatorship. While she never directly stated these words she used other lighter terms which place the Union’s structure in a similar sphere. Maurie Duverger commented in L’Express of Paris, reprinted in World Press Review, that: After 1992, nearly 80 percent of economic regulations will be enacted by the EU in Brussels, not in the capitals of the Member States. That means that decisions will be taken away from parliaments elected by universal suffrage and handed over to a political system that will largely escape the grasp of such parliaments. Europe invented democracy. But the more Europe unites, the more democracy is whittled away. As national powers are gradually reduced by the growth of a supra-national power, citizens will be chagrined. Former EU European Parliamentarian David Martin, commenting on the EU’s “democratic deficit” and need for institutional reform, stated: “If the EC was a state and applied to join the Community, it would be turned down on the grounds that it was not a democracy.”
Tony Benn, one of the most prominent figures in postwar British politics, and a longtime Labor Party member, affirmed: “The European Community is entirely undemocratic. It is run largely by commissioners who are not elected and cannot be removed. The Council of Ministers is the only legislative body in what’s called the ‘free world’ that meets in secret.” Secretiveness is a common characteristic of dictatorships. Certain EU legislation is fashioned in a secretive, undemocratic fashion. The Belmont European Policy Center stated that: “Unfortunately, the EU Treaty contains certain provisions, which govern Co-decision Procedure…having the effect of making the legislative processes unnecessarily secretive and prima facie inconsistent with the principles of democratic government.” This report emphasized the secretiveness of Council of Ministers meetings, which echoes throughout several foreign affairs journals and articles.
The Antichrist’s federation will have secret agendas. Amazingly, when the Antichrist takes his position as President of the European Union Commission, he will have the platform for his dictatorship. Of all the Institutions, the Commission holds the greatest powers, and the other EU governmental bodies do not balance its authorities. The former journal European Affairs stated: “At present the European institutions are upside down. The only institution with democratic legitimacy on a European scale, the European Parliament, has consultative powers only. The most dynamic body, the one that has the power to get things moving, is arbitrarily appointed and accountable to only one: the Commission of the European Communities.”
The American Free Press upon Estonia’s admission into the EU quoted former Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, and others as comparing the EU with the Soviet Union. “The forced propaganda of the European Union is reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s methods and brainwashing,” Rolf Parve, wrote in Kesknadal, the weekly paper of the Center Party. “Moscow and Brussels differ in one point,” Professor Igor Grazin, one of the leading anti-EU voices in Estonia says: “The Soviet Union theoretically allowed nations to leave the union. Brussels is creating organs, however, which would kill that idea in the bud.” Savissar compared the “big bureaucratic system” of the EU with that of the Soviet Union. Currently, the EU is regarded by several politicians as a superstate, and they state this derogatorily.
According to Wikipedia: “a superstate is an agglomeration of nations and or/states, often linguistically and ethnically diverse under a single political-administrative structure. This is distinct from the concept of superpower, although these are frequently seen together. It is also distinct from the concept of empire where one nation dominates other nations through military, political, and economic power, as in the Roman Empire, although and empire may also be a superstate, as in ancient Persia, India and China.
HIS KINGDOM WILL BE DIVIDED AND WILL INVOLVE MANY MEN
Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Daniel 2:28-45 illustrates the Beast’s complexity. The Bible states that the fourth kingdom is “strong as iron,” and “breaks in pieces and shatters all things,” Daniel adds that there is weakness amidst its strength. Daniel 2: 41-43 records: “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.”
The iron and clay which makes up the image’s toes do not mix. The iron legs have power to break in pieces and crush all that opposes the Beast. The Bible states that clay represents the seed of men. The potter’s clay signifies a divided kingdom and the complexity within this kingdom-iron is firm, clay is brittle. The kingdom divides at the legs into feet and toes mingled with clay. John F. Walvoord, in his book Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, discusses this passage and relates the various interpretations from well known Bible expositors. A. C. Gaebelein states that “monarchies and clay represent democratic rule.’ Lutheran Hebrew Old Testament scholar Johann Karl Friedrich Keil argues that “it is all the means employed by rulers to combine the different nationalities, a sort of intermarriage.’ Walvoord concludes that this diversity, “whether this refers to race, political idealism or sectional interests,…will prevent the final form of the kingdom from having any real unity.’
The vision depicts an analogy of the European Union’s institutional structure as it exists today. One iron leg represents the EU Commission, while the toes symbolize the Council of Ministers. The toes mingled with clay represent the sovereign nations who still hold elections and rule their countries while handing over specific powers to the EU Commission. Clay, or the democratic electoral process, conflicts with totalitarian rule. The Scriptures stand unprecedented in their accuracy. One must pay tribute to those Bible scholars who successfully interpreted prophetic passages while there no telltale signs in world affairs manifested. Some Bible Eschatologists teach that the Beast has ten toes which represent the ten nations because the Scripture refers to the feet of the image and feet have five toes a piece thus ten toes. The Scripture does not specify the number of toes which can be many. Dwight Pentecost sited Kelly’s observation who that:
“There will be, before the age closes, the most remarkable union of two apparently contradictory conditions-a universal head of empire, a separate independent kingdom besides, each of which will have its own king; but that one man will be emperor over all these kings… God has said they shall be divided.…In virtue of the iron there will be a universal monarchy, while in virtue of the clay there will be separate kingdoms.”
Europa the EU’s website elaborates by stating about the EU’s institutions: “The European Union (EU) is not a federation like the United States. Nor is it simply an organization for co-operation between governments, Like the United Nations. It is, in fact, unique. The countries that make up the EU (its ‘Member States’) remain independent sovereign nations but they pool their sovereignty in order to gain a strength and world influence none of them could have on their own. Pooling sovereignty means, in practice, that the Member States delegate some of their decision- making powers to shared institutions they have created, so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at the European level. While the nation’s pool their sovereignty, conflict and disunity arises as each nation responds protecting its own culture, people and industries”
The EU is a kingdom divided. While linked by the Treaty of Rome, each government still holds autonomy. The Member States speak their own languages and retain identity with their individual histories and cultures. EU citizens elect the leaders of the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers, and clay (i.e., the seed of men) represents this democratic practice. The EU’s motto is “united in diversity,” which literally can be the plaque underneath the image of toes mingled with clay. Due to the Union’s many languages, which numbers 23 official languages, EU officials must make sure that all 27 Member States understand the legislation. They provide interpretation at many hundreds of meetings held every week. Twenty-five percent of university graduates employed by the Commission directly engage in language work. In the smaller Community institutions, this figure can be as high as 70 percent of graduates. Along with each new member accepted into the European Union, this number increases. The EU Parliament is the biggest employer of interpreters in the world employing 350 full time and 400 free-lancers when there is higher demand.
Further magnifying the Union’s diversity are each nation’s differing governments and politics. Although the Union refers to the nations as Member States, they are separate sovereign countries. Some of the nations hold grievances with other nations, for historical or economic reasons. This world power will never have any real unity while it is both united and divided. In examining EU citizens’ views and gripes toward other Member States, this division further intensifies. Nevertheless, Scripture tells us that this world power will be dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong (Dan. 7:7).
These facts have caused some to believe that the EU will never have any real unity or strength. What the European Union is seeking to do has never been done in the world’s history. Separate sovereign nations are joining to become a single economic and political unit. The Bible spoke about this in ancient history. In our day we will see it happen. We know from Scripture that the European Union federalists will attain economic and political union. The ideal of retaining each member state’s government, language, and culture within this federation will be the weakness amid its strength.