Here are some interesting facts about the EU that are similar to states with national sovereignty.
Can make laws for its member states
Has a court that regularly sues corporations, such as Microsoft (go to google news if you don't believe me)
Controls all immigration policy and has open borders within the EU
Has made about half of the laws of the UK
Is big enough influence about half the UK wants to vote to leave
The UK has a whole political party devoted to leaving the EU, which is called the United Kingdom Independence Party, which wants to separate itself from the EU.
Due to political sensitivities and the unprecedented nature of the EU, legal scholars have a difficult time classifying it. It is typically considered a very strong confederation that is in the slow process of becoming a federation. As a result, it is called a "supranational union" and is the only such union in the world.
Is no longer just a set of treaties, but has legal personality, just like nations have. This means that it is a corporate entity and can act as one.
Has the same currency in 17 states.
Has a central bank
Has a foreign minister (High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy)
Has an unelected body (the Commission) which has the competence to propose legislation.
It is widely recognized that some national sovereignty was given away to the EU during the ratification of the Lisbon treaty in 2009.
For the first time ever, it seems there are the same number (or more) of secular sources that are as paranoid as prophecy watchers about the growing power of the "European Superstate." Don't believe me, read any article in UK online newspapers about the EU, and look at all the nasty comments below it that decry the EU "superstate" and demand to leave. Fear of a "United States of Europe" is no longer limited to prophecy watchers and prophecy watchers are no longer the loudest voice in this area.
The EU is in a process (which will take about a year and a half to approve) which intends to ultimately cede control of national budgets to Brussels, in order to make sure that they are fiscally responsible.
People who live in one EU state can work in another without a visa.
The EU makes embassies that represent itself.
The EU as a legal entity has the power to form international treaties.
Many decisions in EU law are no longer unanimous, but are the product of "qualified majority voting." This means that 55% of countries have to agree as long as those 55% constitute more than 65% of the EU's population.
There are set procedures to secede from the EU which can take up to two years to complete if no re-negotiation is reached.
The EU has troops which can deploy for brief missions (and regularly does this). They often wear the EU patch on their shirt or the EU flag is painted on the helicopters, etc.
The treaty of Lisbon is widely recognized as having most of the same text as the original "European Constitution," except with opt outs and revisions tacked onto it for specific member states.
Commission President Barroso has called the EU the first "non-imperial empire."
The EU also has many significant weaknesses that make it not like a state:
Member nations retain a lot of control in areas regarding foreign policy and defense. The EU cannot decide to go to war and force all of its member states to provide troops. However, the Lisbon treaty does direct member states to increase their military capabilities.
If the EU is attacked, all of the member states have to use all the means in their power to defend the attacked member state. This however does not prejudice any specific foreign policy stance they have. (I.e. the Swiss are neutral so they are not obligated by this part). The Western European Union, a now defunct 10-nation military alliance, reaffirmed their commitment to the principle mutual defense in light of the new Lisbon treaty. As a result, they decided to close their organization.
The EU is widely known for taking a long time to get things done, because of its complex bureaucracy. It even has two presidents, one permanent president that has 2.5 year terms, another rotating president. This is why people get frustrated with them, because they are slow moving and can't respond fast enough at times.
As you can see, the EU has many properties of a state, but in some ways does not. One can think of it as an extremely weak federation or a very powerful confederation.
So pretty much the European Union is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Given current events, the Euro could collapse. However, they won't let it collapse, because member states are too entangled into the EU. They are in the process of making a full economic union due to talks that began on June 28, 2012 that were big in the news.
After that, all it would take is a military attack from the outside for the EU to become a federation, because in that case all of the military resources would have to be coordinated by one person.....
And the Bible says that someone will attack the Antichrist and he will respond by attacking many countries.
And as Daniel says, "tens of thousands shall fall".....
Many theologians and Bible scholars believe that Europe will play an especially important role in in end time prophecy, and for good reason too.
The Resurrection of the Roman Empire
Daniel 2 & 7 talks both about four empires that will rise to power one after another. The first empire is the Babylonian empire, since the book of Daniel identifies the first. We know from history who the next empires were. After Babylonian Empire fell, the Medo-Persian Empire rose to power. After that, the Greek Empire rose to power. And finally, the Roman Empire rose to power as the "fourth kingdom" of which the passage speaks. Bible scholars are in general agreement as to the identity of these four empires.
However, it gets interesting from there. Daniel 7 says that the Messiah will come on the clouds of heaven, destroy the fourth kingdom and set up an eternal empire, the kingdom of God. Furthermore, it says that all rulers will serve and obey the Messiah.
This poses a conundrum for anyone studying the passage. How can Jesus destroy the Roman Empire and set up an eternal kingdom of God, if the Roman Empire collapsed 1500 years ago!?!? Jesus clearly didn't command the allegiance of all rulers, and the Roman Empire collapsed gradually, not in a decisive defeat at God's hands.
It's untenable to hold that the fulfillment is already past. So the only way for God's word to be true is this: If God sets up his eternal kingdom of Messiah by violently defeating the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire must come back into existence prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus is not the only guy that will have a Second Coming. The Roman Empire is going to have a second coming too.
It's the only way.
The revival of political entities in the end times is not without Biblical precedent. Israel had to come back into existence for end time prophecy to be fulfilled. (Ezekiel 38-39) It only makes sense that other political entities may experience a revival in the end times as well. Just like Israel came back into existence, so the Roman Empire will come back into existence.
This is why many professional theologians hold that in the end times, a Revived Roman Empire will be present on the world stage.
Daniel 7 says that at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus, the New Roman Empire will have some rather peculiar features. Empires usually have one emperor that is a dictator over it all. But this one will be different. It will have ten kings ruling at the same time. That's kind of a weird empire. This clearly doesn't correspond to Roman history, so it must be referring to the end times Roman Empire.
Theologians have been saying this for years. In fact, they've been saying something similar for about 2000 years.
John Walvoord, one of the most respected evangelical theologians of end time prophecy, anticipated the:
“formation of the revived Roman Empire composed of a ten-nation confederacy.” (1967)
Hal Lindsay, one of the most well known prophecy theologians of the 70's, anticipated a:
“ten nation confederacy of European nations” (Late Great Planet Earth, 1970)
St. Irenaus (202 A.D.) believed that the Roman Empire would fragment into ten smaller kingdoms, which would be partitioned out to these ten kings.
Tertullian (160-220 A.D.) believed that the Roman Empire would collapse and the ten kings would arise out of the ruins of the Roman empire, and the Antichrist would take control of it after it.
An Arrogant Eleventh King
In Daniel 7, the four empires are depicted as 4 wild animals that rise up one after another, with varying numbers of heads and horns. Later in the passage, the angel interprets the vision to Daniel.
The ten kings are depicted as ten horns on the head of the fourth beast. After these ten horns, another little horn rises up among them. This horn gets bigger and bigger, until it uproots three of the original ten horns on the head of the beast. It has "eyes of a man" and speaks arrogantly.
The passage goes on to say that this 11th horn is a king who will rise up after the first ten kings. It becomes bigger than its associates. This eleventh ruler will subdue 3 of the 10 kings, speak arrogantly against God, and persecutes God's people for a "time, times and a half a time." This is often interpreted by theologians as a year, two years, and a half a year = 3.5 years.
The Pompous Ruler in Revelation
This fourth beast is in Revelation too. There are many similarities. The beast in Revelation also:
Has ten horns which are ten kings
Speaks arrogantly against God
Persecutes God's people for 3.5 years.
Is destroyed when Jesus the Messiah comes to set up am eternal kingdom.
In Revelation, it also says that the ten kings have a common purpose, and choose to give up their authority to the "beast." In both of these passages the "beast" can refer to the final empire, or its final leader, depending on context. Many theologians believe this event is integral in the rise to power of this pompous ruler.
Theologians who correctly interpret these prophecies to be referring to future events all agree that it is talking about the person we call the Antichrist.
But the Roman Empire is a big place. From which part of the empire do his ten kings arise?
In Daniel 11:35-12:3, we see a very arrogant king who comes during the time of the end. He becomes very powerful in the world through military conquest. It says he does what he does around the time that the dead are raised to eternal life. So this passage is also referring to the Antichrist.
We realize that he is coming from a resurrected Roman Empire, so its going to be somewhere in the area of the Old Roman Empire. The picture below shows where the Roman Empire was.
If one studies those military passages, you will see that the Antichrist goes to war with a lot of people, and wins. The passage tells us that he is attacked by someone North of Israel and someone South of Israel. The Antichrist also takes control of Northern African countries. From the passage. we can see that he goes to war with almost everyone around him.....except Europe. Europe is never mentioned in this passage.
Recall that the ten kings are in power before the Antichrist ever comes to the political scene. Since these ten kings are part of the Revived Roman Empire, it only makes sense that they will originate from the European continent. After all, the Antichrist is probably not going to attack his own empire. So it makes sense that he would attack everyone around Europe, but not Europe itself, since that is the home of his empire.
A Political Agreement Made for 7 Years
Another passage in Daniel gives us a clue as to when he will rise to power. Daniel 9:26-27 speak of a ruler who will make a strong covenant with many for seven years.
There are several features of this covenant that we can take note of from the entire passage:
1) The one who makes the covenant is of the same ethnicity of the people who destroyed the Jerusalem temple. The Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D. So the future ruler must be Roman.
2) The entire prophecy of this passage is decreed for both Israel and Jerusalem. This has caused most end-time theologians to believe that the covenant will be made with end time Israel.
3) The covenant is made for seven years. Scholars who take the passage literally are in agreement that a "seven" refers to seven years.
4) The covenant is also said to be with "many" which one could interpret as being many people in general.
No one in the first century made a political agreement which was for 7 years. Furthermore, the passage says that "everlasting righteousness" and an "end to sin" will be in place for Jerusalem and Israel by the end of the seven years. (Daniel 9:24). This points to an end time fulfillment of the 7 year treaty, since there is obviously still sin within Jerusalem! After all, they haven't accepted the Messiah, so it's impossible for there to be an end to sin in that city.
Antichrist and the Middle of the Seven
However, something nasty happens halfway into the seven years. It says that the covenant creator will stop Jewish ritual sacrifice and offering. Furthermore, it very cryptically says that on the "wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate." This happens until he meets his own end.
The "abomination of desolation" is only referenced 3 times in the Old Testament. It's a technical term for an idol being placed in the temple, causing people to stand aghast in horror, leaving the place desolate. The abomination (the idol) causes desolation (abandonment of the temple area).
One "abomination that causes desolation" has historical fulfillment in 168 B.C. Daniel 11:31 predicts an event that happened when Antiochus IV Epiphanes placed an idol of Zeus on the altar.
Interestingly enough, Jesus says that another abomination of desolation must happen prior to the Second Coming. But this passage mysteriously speaks of the abomination of desolation as if he is aperson, not an object. Apostle Paul echos this in 2Thessalonians 2, when he says that the Antichrist will idolize himself in the temple, just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. Interestingly enough, the Antichrist stops temple sacrifices for half of seven years = 3.5 years. Just like we saw above.
But who cares???? Has any of this actually happened??
At EU Prophecy News, we believe that Christ called us to watch for his coming.
However, in light of this we have core values that govern how we observe prophecy in current events:
1) An emphasis on watchfulness instead of absolute certitude of specific prophetic events occurring.
2) Using established theological precedent instead of speculation about the meaning of prophecies.
3) An emphasis on the European Union as the Revived Roman Empire.
4) A general historical solidarity with the "ENPI" movement. This includes an emphasis on the Western European Union as the ten kings of prophecy and the cyclical, 7-year, European Neighborhood Policy as the mechanism by which the Antichrist creates his 7-year deal with Israel and its neighbors.
5) Reliable news sources and EU government information instead of conspiracy theories.
6) To be open to prophetic fulfillments which are in accordance with Scripture and theological precedent, but nonetheless occur in unexpected ways which challenge conventional notions about prophecy.
7) Christ at the center of our very lives and doctrinal integrity with respect to him and the gospel.
1) The God of the Old and New Testament is Creator of heaven and earth. 2) There is only one God, co-eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 3) Jesus was born of a virgin.
4) Jesus is truly God (specifically, the Jewish God) and truly man.
5) Jesus is the Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. 6) Jesus was crucified and died in order to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 7) Jesus bodily rose from the dead (leaving an empty tomb behind him), appeared to many witnesses, and bodily ascended to heaven. 8) Jesus will bodily return from heaven to judge the living and the dead. 9) The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and, transforms and indwells believers. 10) All dead human beings will be resurrected from the dead, some to everlasting life, some to everlasting condemnation.
11) Salvation is not earned, but is the result of God's forgiveness, granted to a person through faith in Christ.
12) All 66 books of the Bible are fully authoritative for matters of faith and practice. *Some of these borrow wording from my own churches statement. Nevertheless, this statement is my own and my church in no way is affiliated with nor endorses this website.
Here is a link to the essay I wrote for composition class in college right before the Treaty of Lisbon came into force. It explores the undemocratic parts of the treaty and how the treaty is in some way similar to a federal system.