>Related Story: Antichrist makes his move, Part 1: EU member-states accuse Sarkozy of power grab for permanent role; Putin warns against dollar buying
European leaders are unanimous in assessing Sarkozy’s handling of the financial crisis as exemplary.
— Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, October 2008
Nobody can take the presidency away from the Czech Republic. Any speculation over an extension of the current presidency is groundless and unacceptable.
— Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra, October 2008
Sarkozy wants to be president of everything now. The president will no doubt soon be asking to have his French presidential term prolonged in 2012 without another election.
— French Socialist Party leader François Hollande, statement made on French radio
Sarkozy sees the crisis as an opportunity to reshape the institutional running of not only the European, but also the world economy. If, as appears likely, Barack Obama is the next US President, watch out for an unusual sight: a united Franco-American policy on world economic reform.
— David Marsh, London & Oxford Capital Markets; Financial News, October 27, 2008
Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of making a power grab to install himself as [permanent] president of the European Union, a post that no longer exists after the Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty in June.
— Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph, October 25, 2008
— The French president sees himself extending his EU presidency role until 2010 as leader of an informal “economic government” of the euro area, in a bid to better coordinate responses to the global financial crisis.
— EurActiv, October 24, 2008
Bible prophecy is clear in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 that the Man of Sin will be revealed after the rapture of the church and the termination of the Holy Spirit’s restraining ministry against evil. In what sense Antichrist will be revealed must be considered since these verses state that God will send unbelievers a “strong delusion” to believe Antichrist’s lies. It would appear, therefore, that Antichrist’s true identity will be obvious only to a new generation that comes to faith in Jesus Christ after the rapture–namely, the (Gentile) tribulation saints and the faithful Jewish remnant.
However, we believe discerning Christians may be able to identify this tool of the Devil shortly before the church’s translation to heaven since numerous clues are given in the Old and New Testaments with respect to Antichrist’s geographic and ethnic origin, career, personal characteristics, and special connection to Israel as that nation’s false Messiah-King. We have considered these elements in previous posts and will not review them here. Many candidates for Antichrist have been advanced over the years. However, your resident blogger has endeavored at this site to present Nicolas (“Prince of Darkness/ Tribulation”) Sarkozy as the most likely man for the job.
“The financial crisis spreading like wildfire across the former Soviet bloc threatens to set off a second and more dangerous banking crisis in Western Europe, tipping the whole Continent into a fully-fledged economic slump,” cried The Telegraph on Sunday. The global financial crisis is providing the French president, who prior to his election in May 2007 falsely presented himself as an advocate of free marketism, with an ideal opportunity to showcase his interventionist political philosophy and dictatorial ambitions by seizing power over the European superstate. Sarkozy is required to relinquish the EU presidency to the Czech Republic on January 1, 2009 but, instead, on October 21 insisted to the European Parliament that his mandate be extended until 2010 so he can implement an “economic government” that will save Europe from the world financial meltdown. Prague has protested Sarkozy’s incipient coup d’etat.
In addition to pressuring US President George W. Bush into hosting the G20 summit in Washington DC on November 15, Sarkozy, the European media reports, will convene a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on November 7, when he hopes to “refound capitalism.” “We will speak with a unified European voice on the financial crisis,” the French president announced to journalists after a previous EU summit in October.
European politicians, diplomats, and journalists, who are otherwise oblivious to Bible prophecies regarding the rise of Antichrist, are now openly commenting on Sarkozy’s drive for continent-wide power. “The French president sees himself extending his EU presidency role until 2010 as leader of an informal “economic government” of the euro area,” reports EurActiv below, “in a bid to better coordinate responses to the global financial crisis.” The Canadian media editorialized today that the French president is “trying to take over the world.” It certainly appears that way.
Pictured below, left to right: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sarkozy, and (“ex”-communist) European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso converse before the fourth closed session of the 7th Asia Europe Meeting in Beijing, on October 25.
Czechs reject Sarkozy’s Eurogroup presidency plans
Published: Friday 24 October 2008
The French president sees himself extending his EU presidency role until 2010 as leader of an informal “economic government” of the euro area, in a bid to better coordinate responses to the global financial crisis. EurActiv France reports.
Speaking to members of the European Parliament on 21 October, French President and current EU presidency holder Nicolas Sarkozy outlined his vision of a ‘new’ capitalism for Europe to respond to the turmoil that has shaken financial markets across the globe.
Reform of the world economy and the introduction of a new ‘Bretton Woods’, as well as more unified economic governance of the euro area, strict rules aimed at overcoming the current ‘failures’ of the US-style capitalist model, increased protection against foreign takeovers and tougher rules on tax havens, were among his plans.
The plan – revealed by the French daily Le Monde on Wednesday (22 October) – is based on the rationale that the EU needs a strong presidency and a much more united front to respond adequately to global challenges, such as the current financial meltdown.
‘Unified economic government’
Speaking to MEPs on 21 October, Sarkozy had already highlighted the need for a “unified economic government” of the Eurogroup, calling for more regular coordination meetings at head of state and government level, such as the extraordinary Eurogroup meeting held in Paris on Sunday 12 October to tackle the vertical slide of European stock exchanges. “When the crisis takes on the proportions we’ve seen, a meeting of finance ministers is not up to the gravity of the crisis,” he told MEPs.
It would now appear he sees himself presiding over this hypothetical group until 2010 in a bid to offer a stronger command than that which could be offered by the successive six-month EU presidencies of the eurosceptic and struggling Czech government and the Swedes, who remain outside the eurozone. Then, in 2010, Spain would be able to take over from Sarkozy, combining the two roles of EU and eurozone president.
In the meantime, Sarkozy hopes to impose his economic vision on the rest of the bloc, including plans to set up European sovereign wealth funds to fend off foreign takeovers of strategic companies by cash-rish oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Dubai and Qatar during the crisis.
Yesterday, his government announced that France itself was creating a €175 billion “strategic investment fund” to prevent French industrial groups from falling into foreign hands as shares plunge to an all-time low.
Bypassing the Czechs?
But Sarkozy is still some way off convincing his EU counterparts. Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra immediately rejected the notion that the Czech Presidency could be ‘bypassed’, saying: “Nobody can take the presidency away from the Czech Republic. Any speculation over an extension of the current presidency is groundless and unacceptable,” according to Thomson Financial News.
He added that the French plans would more likely divide the Union rather than strengthen it. “If the Eurogroup agrees to be presided over by a Frenchman and to meet more frequently, most probably we will not be able to prevent this,” he said, adding: “However, it would not be a wise move but one which would divide EU rather then unify it.”
The Germans are also said to be opposed to the plans, with the UK’s Independent citing a German government spokesman as saying: “The natural chairman of such a group would be the Luxembourg Prime Minister and Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.”
But France’s European Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet yesterday (23 October) denied that Sarkozy was aiming to chair a group of eurozone leaders. He nevertheless backed the idea that Europgroup meetings should take place at the level of heads of state and government, adding: “After EU states agree on the principle of this and there is a political organisation, the designation (of a president) will follow,” according to Reuters.
Jouyet further insisted that “Nicolas Sarkozy is asking for nothing for himself” and that “if it is Jean-Claude Juncker it is Jean-Claude Juncker. What is important is that the impetus, the energy and the pro-activity remains in place,” he added.
The question, he said, is: “Do we want to return to business as usual or do we want to capitalise on the impetus given to the euro zone?” European leaders are unanimous in assessing Sarkozy’s handling of the financial crisis as “exemplary”, he added.
In view of the opposition that various national governments, such as Germany and the Czech Republic’s, have expressed over the last 18 months to Sarkozy’s pet projects like the Union for the Mediterranean and an “emergency government” for Europe, Bible prophecy enthusiasts should consider the possibility that the time is coming soon when the “little horn” of Daniel, representing Antichrist, will uproot three of the ten horns representing the core nations of the revived Roman Empire (7:20). The Antichrist as the “king of fierce countenance” will accomplish his coup d’etat, prophesies Daniel, by craft and peace, using diplomacy rather than bloodshed (8:25): “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes [Jesus Christ]; but he shall be broken without hand [by God].”
A few more financial shocks or political crises could very well sway recalcitrant members of the EU into accepting a Sarkozy dictatorship over Europe. In addition to displacing US political-military-economic power in the world, the New Roman Empire will also displace that of neo-Soviet Russia, the armed forces of which are prophetically predestined for ruination on the hills of Israel.
In his book The Nations in Prophecy theologian John Walvoord speculates regarding the absence of concrete references to the USA in Bible prophecy: “If the end-time events include a destruction of Russia and her allies prior to the final period of great tribulation [second half of Daniel’s 70th week], this may trigger an unbalance in the world situation that will permit the Roman ruler to become a world ruler. In this event, it should be clear that the United States will be in a subordinate role and no longer the great international power that it is today.” Remarkably, Walvoord wrotes these words in 1967. More than 40 years later, as the USA faces financial collapse and economic marginalization, this end-time scenario is proving correct.
Pictured here: Orthodox Jews of the Kohanim priestly caste, covered by prayer shawls, offer a blessing at the Western Wall, on October 16.
The Middle East Peace Process, the Union for the Mediterranean, and Daniel’s 70th Prophetic Week
Two weeks ago, nearly 10,000 spectators gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to welcome the Feast of Tabernacles, which this year ran between October 14 and 20. There rabbis associated with the Temple Institute performed the Hakhel, or ceremonial reading of the Torah, sounded silver trumpets, and unveiled the two-ton bronze laver that the Levitical priesthood, now restored, will use in the Tribulation Temple. The Temple Institute confidently announced that this year’s Hakhel was not a “reenactment” of the ancient ritual but, rather, an “anticipation of its restoration” in a future Temple service.
Preparations for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple are a major prophetic heads up that Jesus Christ is coming soon to set up His kingdom. Referring to His coming in judgment, power, and glory, Christ spoke of the hour and day that no man knows, (Matthew 24:36). Notwithstanding this caution, clues related to Israel’s annual feast days (Leviticus 23) suggest that the season is knowable. After all, Christ fulfilled the first three spring feasts–Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7), Unleavened Bread (Luke 22:7), and Firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)–in His First Advent, while the founding of the church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit partly fulfilled Pentecost (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:16-21). By contrast, Trumpets (Matthew 24:31), Atonement (Zechariah 12:10-14), and Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19) await fulfillment in the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His global reign. At this time Pentecost will be completely fulfilled when the Holy Spirit is again poured out upon the faithful Jewish remnant during the tribulation (Joel 2:30-32), before the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” and so “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26-27).
While the precise year of the rapture of the church and the Second Coming remain known only to God, an expectation that these events will occur in autumn, separated by seven Hebrew years of 360 days each, or 2,520 days, is in keeping with Christ’s self-portrayal as “Lord of the harvest” (Luke 10:2). Some Christians speculate that the new seven-year sabbatical cycle that Israel entered on September 29, 2008 and will observe until 2015 represents or will introduce Daniel’s 70th week (D70W), the last of 70 prophetic weeks of years appointed unto the history of the Jewish nation (Daniel 9:24).
According to this theory, the tribulation period will begin in earnest on or about October 29, 2008 and terminate 2,520 days later, on or about September 23, 2015, which is the Day of Atonement. The latter day occurs in the midst of a rare tetrad of blood-moon eclipses in that year and 2014, coinciding with Passover and Tabernacles. It also occurs exactly 49 Hebrew years, or one jubilee cycle, after the Israelis recaptured Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, when the last tetrad of blood-moon eclipses took place. However, the entire cycle of fall feasts in 2008 extended from September 30 to October 20, while the entire cycle of fall feasts in 2015 extends from September 14 to October 4. The last day of Tabernacles 2015, which falls on October 4, is 2,520 days from November 9, 2008. This would appear to be the last day on which a pre-tribulation rapture could occur this year if indeed the world is on the cusp of D70W.
Regardless of the date, it is likely that there will be little or no gap between the translation of the saints to heaven and the beginning of the tribulation period since only slightly more than 50 days transpired between the termination of the 69th week, marked by Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and Pentecost, marked by the formation of the church.
Please note that we are not date setting here with respect to the Lord’s return, nor do we disbelieve in the general imminency of the rapture of the church. So, if you are a fellow believer in Jesus Christ, do not leave angry comments at our blog. We are only considering possible windows in which certain Biblically prophesied events could occur. If this autumn passes without a door into heaven opening, then do not be discouraged. Just keep looking up and wait for next fall. The Son of God, after all, rebuked the Pharisees for not knowing the “time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44). After His ascension, Christ also warned his disciples via John (Revelation 3:3) that His return would take the churches by surprise, “as a thief,” if they did not watch.
It is important to understand, too, that the resurrection of deceased Christians and the rapture of living saints does not instigate D70W, although it will certainly precipitate manifold crises throughout the world. Rather, Antichrist’s covenant with Israel and the “many,” presumably Israel’s neighbors (meaning, enemies), will initiate the tribulation period. Reference to this peace treaty can found in Daniel, Psalms, and Isaiah.
Daniel 9:26-27: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [crucified], but not for himself [Jesus died for sinners]: and the people [Romans] of the prince that shall come [Antichrist] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined [Jewish Wars]. And he [Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years]: and in the midst of the week he [Antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Note: In verse 27 “he” is not Jesus, since Christ never established a seven-year covenant with Israel, “many,” or anyone else, for that matter. Nor did Jesus cause the “sacrifice and oblation to cease.” This occured in AD 70, 37 years after His ascension, long after the 70th week expired, at least according to preterists. The antecedent to “he” is the “prince that shall come,” mentioned in the second part of verse 26. It should be recognized, moreover, that the “prince that shall come” was not the Roman general, later emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Titus, like the Son of God, never established a seven-year covenant with Israel or “many.” The “prince that shall come” has yet to come. The “prince that shall come” is Antichrist, who looms large in other unfulfilled passages of Holy Scripture. Only by allegorizing this prophecy can it be made to apply to the Savior of mankind.
Psalm 55:20: He [Antichrist] hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.
Isaiah 28: 15: Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death [Antichrist], and with hell [Antichrist] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.
18: And your covenant with death [Antichrist] shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell [Antichrist] shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
How close is the world to the rapture of the church and the confirmation of a covenant between Antichrist, or the head of the revived Roman Empire, Israel, and “many”? We have previously considered the defunct Oslo Accords and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, both seven-year arrangements, as possible forerunners of Antichrist’s covenant. Since then the dormant 2002 Arab League peace plan has been resurrected.
According to the Pakistani media, the foreign ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) countries will convene a summit in Marseille on November 3 and 4, at which time they will determine the composition and powers of the UPM secretariat. The success of Sarkozy’s pet project, which we have demonstrated is none other than the revived Roman Empire of Bible prophecy, depends on the enforcement of peace in the Middle East, in particular, Israel’s relations with Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. Thus, the Arab and Muslim member states of the UPM must acquiesce to Israel’s presence in the international organization.
To that end, reports Voice of America, last Thursday Israeli President Shimon Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held a low-profile meeting at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el Sheikh (pictured above). There they discussed the possibility of implementing the 2002 Arab League peace plan. Under this scheme Israel would withdraw from all lands obtained in the Six Day War, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights, in exchange for pan-Arab recognition of the Jewish state. On October 29 Sarkozy will host a working lunch with Mubarak, fellow co-president of the UPM, at which time they will discuss various issues, including the Middle East peace process, that will be tabled on November 3 and 4 at the UPM summit. No doubt, Mubarak will relate to Sarkozy the substance of his October 23 meeting with Peres at Sharm el Sheikh.
Several days later, beginning on November 6 the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet will send its representatives to Sharm el Sheikh to assess the progress of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The Quartet consists of the United Nations, EU, USA, and Russia. In addition to Israel’s Acting Prime Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian PM Ahmed Qureia, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, French FM Bernard Kouchner, and Egyptian and Jordanian officials are expected to be present at this meeting, which is being billed as Annapolis 2. Intriguingly, these dates fall within the timeframe for a potential fall 2008 rapture.
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert essentially recapitulated the Arab League formula in his “land for peace” proposal, published last month in the Israeli media and readily accepted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The EU, reveals the German media, endorsed the Arab League plan in 2007. The world, therefore, only awaits the “prince that shall come,” the head of the revived Roman Empire, who is currently Nicolas Sarkozy, Co-Prince of Andorra, to “confirm the covenant with many for one week.”
At this juncture, the most serious disruption to the implementation of a Middle East peace plan in 2008 is the Israeli parliamentary election, which Acting PM Livni called yesterday after the religious Shas party refused to join a coalition government. The election will probably occur between the end of January and mid-February 2009. Moreover, political salvation from the Israeli right, which is generally opposed to territorial concessions, appears to be dimming since Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has dropped slightly in recent public opinion polls. Even if Likud does form the next government in Israel, Netanyahu is a close friend of Sarzkozy and, hence, the EU-sponsored dismantling of Israel may continue without hindrance.
In summary, autumn of each year is an especially prophetic time for Christians to look up in anticipation of the rapture, and to be carefully monitoring world affairs for news of an impending seven-year agreement involving the revived Roman Empire, Israel, and the “many.”