The Antichrist....What Will He Do?
We all know that the Bible says that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many nations and/or Israel for seven years. Secondly, we know that he will rise to power after the existence of a ten nation confederacy in the geographic area of the Roman Empire. Finally, he will start off small, but during his rise to power, he will subdue three of these ten kings in this end times Roman empire. He will go on to set himself up as God in the temple in Jerusalem, and persecute the saints for 3.5 years. (See my section on End Times Theology for more detail into these subject matters).
The "Theory" to Rule Them All
Given this paradigm, the "WEU/REC666/ENPI" theory was quite promising. The Western European Union was a military alliance in Europe that reached ten members in 1995. After obtaining ten members, it's secretary general, named Javier Solana, took to the helm. He started off small in power, but increasingly took on a number of EU positions. He ultimately crafted a plan called the "European Neighborhood Policy" which ended up being confirmed with many nations, including Israel, for the specific length of 7 years. Furthermore, he jockeyed with three of those ten WEU nations, vying for control of negotiations with Iran. He successfully removed three as a negotiating obstacle. As if this wasn't enough, the documents appointing him to power were both titled "Document 666" and "Recommendation 666" respectively.
European Neighborhood Policy
This sounds fantastic on paper, but didn't pan out as hoped. But how could this all be a coincidence? It seems it cannot be, even with the failure of the original theory. Despite the disappointment, we have a ten nation military alliance that voluntarily dissolved itself in favor of the larger European Union. This is very reminiscent of Revelation 17:12-13, even if not a complete fulfillment. Furthermore, the EU has conspicuously decided to use a 7-year foreign policy program to handle its dealings with Israel and many other nations. This rotates every seven years, with a new 7 year treaty coming into force every seven years. (First one was 2007-2013. The next one went into effect 2014-2020.)
But our problem is, the first theory looks more "elegant" than the second theory. This does not bode well for theories in general, since the first one was strong, and it failed. Theories are supposed to have "explanatory power" and "simplicity," as well as not being "ad hoc" (i.e. sounding made up to fit the circumstances).
But perhaps.....just perhaps.....there is a way for this "round two" to fit without too much forcing of the details.
Boring, But Necessary, Political Stuff
It is a very big coincidence, but it just so happens that the four EU presidencies (EU commissioner, rotating president, and council president, and parliament president) all get replaced this year. And so does the high rep. So now we have a lot of uncertainty as to who could come to the fore next, and a great opportunity for the Antichrist to come to power.
The Antichrist is supposed to rise to power after the ten kings are already present. This is easy enough to fulfill, since those ten WEU nations are already there, and have already consolidated their power into the EU, paving the way for someone to lead them.
But here is the problem. The Antichrist is supposed to also be the one who confirms the covenant for one seven, and stops sacrifice and offering halfway through. Problem is, the new High rep can't do this, since the next seven year ENP treaty (2014-2020), as already taken effect....So if they appoint the new high rep, it can't be the Antichrist, because they wouldn't have "confirmed" the seven year ENP, since the ENP would have been confirmed a year prior to that, in 2014....
.........Or can they???????
The passage states that the Antichrist will "confirm" or make a "strong" or "firm" covenant for seven years. Now, what we need is for someone who will become the high rep, to have done this already, in 2014.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:27 ESV)
Surprisingly, there are a gazillion different choices.
Stefan Fule is the person in charge of the ENP. So if he takes the High Rep job, it could be him. Oh but wait... The EU Parliament "confirmed" the ENP and approved it into existence, after the commission proposed it. The President of the EU Parliament is Martin Schultz, who is vying for one of the EU top jobs (commissioner). Oh but wait....the Council of the European Union had to approve the ENP into existence (very recently in fact, March 15). And the head of that is the Greek rotating presidency.
Oh but wait.....the Foreign Affairs Council is the one that makes the foreign policy decisions, so surely they voted the ENP into existence. The FAC is part of the "Council of the European Union." However, it is weird, in that it is also part of the External Action office, and is the only council "configuration" that is led by the High Rep. So that means, that any one of those foreign ministers on that Foreign Affairs Council, could be the "little horn" that starts small, approves the ENP, but goes on to become the High Rep, and then the Antichrist, and so on. (See more boring political details here.)
The Political Battle Begins
Of course, we all know how great the European Union is at making decisions....not. They are very divided, and appointments such as the new High Rep are fraught with political uncertainty and struggles. However, they have to have a new High Rep by December. So it makes sense, that everyone is bringing out their candidates to be part of the game. (See this big list of possible candidates).
At first, I thought that the candidates had to be strongly tied to the ENP to even matter. But perhaps this is easier than I thought, since anyone on the foreign affairs council could....at least theoretically....fulfill the prophecy. And it happens that lots of these people vying for this top job are either past foreign ministers (meaning they have sat on the FAC), or tied to "confirming" the ENP in some way.
Also, this article, though six months old, is of interest to this discussion. I am not pointing any fingers, since it is all speculation at this point.
Come Lord Jesus
But of course, a lot still has to get done. The Jews can't even pray on the temple mount, let alone worship in a temple. However, progress is being made on this issue, especially due to the formation of a Knesset subcommittee to deal with religious freedom on the temple mount. Also, Egypt is facing some unrest, which is reminiscent of Isaiah 19. Russia is becoming a bigger threat, so this makes way for a bigger foreign policy figure. But still, perhaps this would all happen more "elegantly" if the next High Rep confirmed the next covenant (2021-2028), and made it much stronger than the previous ENP's. Indeed, people are indeed challenging the ENP's effectiveness, and calling for a reset. This doesn't sound like a very "strong" covenant to me. At the informal Foreign Affairs Meeting (The Gymnich) Catherine Ashton even invited the ministers to discuss if they thought the ENP was viable to be continued. (It seems they have decided that, yes it should be continued).
But I digress. Nothing is impossible with God.
For some reason, I very very very intensely yearn for all of this to happen. It gives me a sense of awe and wonder. All of this pulls very strongly at the heart. I hope God shows us a strong sign too. This world, even when we are not in poverty, is still wearying. This whole prophecy thing is a combination of intense hope and despair. I pray that God illuminates all this very soon.
As always, I welcome discussion or disagreement, etc.