Everything You Know About the End of the World is Wrong, Part 2

In the news today is a story about how Finland is preparing to leave the European Economic Union, due to its imminent collapse. The leaders of Finland are free to make this type of announcement because they are not considered major players in the EU, but it is thought that their action will prompt the departure of Germany from the coalition. Germany is a major player, and it would spell the end of the “United States of Europe.”
I wonder what Hal Lindsey would have thought of this news.
Hal Lindsey, author of “The Late Great Planet Earth,” and several other books, was the pre-eminent Biblical scholar whose interpretations of Bible prophecy and current events had and still continue to have a tremendous influence on Protestant worldviews.
When the EU was created, it confirmed to Lindsey that the end was near. Here was the 10-nation coalition that would be the political and financial base for the Anti-Christ, the false Messiah who would be sent to deceive the Jews as punishment for their rejection of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.
If you’re wondering why a Jewish Messiah from Israel-real or false-would want or need a political power base in Europe, when he is supposed to set up his earthly kingdom in Jerusalem, then you’re thinking a lot deeper than most Christians. The answer is: it was prophesied.

Or was it?
The “ten nations” idea comes from Revelations, where John saw a beast with ten horns. Each of these horns represented 10-nations and 10 kings. From out of them comes “a little horn,” and this king is the pseudo-Messiah. This 10-horned beast, according to Lindsey, is the EU, because the EU had 10 nations.
(By the way, the EU currently has 27 member-nations.)
For decades, no serious Biblical scholar has ever contested Lindsey’s interpretation. It is founded on almost nothing, but it carries with it the sense of impending doom, so it is eminently useful.
Well, it wouldn’t be prophecy if we didn’t bring some Old Testament soothsayers into the mix, and Lindsey supported his 10-nation scenario by utilizing the end-time visions in the book of Daniel. During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the king had a disturbing dream of a giant statue, with a head made of gold, a torso of silver, loins of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. Daniel explained that the golden head was Nebuchadnezzar’s and each of the various sections of the statue were kings and their respective kingdoms that would follow him.
Biblical scholars have assured us that the silver torso refers to the Medio-Persian Empire, The bronze girdle was the Greek Empire, the iron referred to the Roman Empire, and the feet of clay and iron is the kingdom that will spawn the Anti-Christ.
Again, this interpretation has never been seriously challenged, because it seems to make so much sense. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian empire was followed by the Medio-Persians, then by the Greeks, and the Romans. The EU is built from the Roman Empire, and hey, there’s 10 toes on a human statue! Just like the 10 horns on the beast from Revelations! Case closed!
There are just a few problems with this interpretation.
Firstly, it’s easy to see that, as we progress downward on the statue each of the substances in the statue are worth less and less. Are we to believe that the Babylonian empire was superior to the Greek Empire, or the Roman Empire? While it is true Babylon gave us cuneiform writing, how does that stack up against democracy, philosophy, mythology, plumbing, roads, architecture and the Olympics?
There is another huge problem with assigning these particular empires to the parts of the statue, and it has to do with history. Biblical scholars have completely skipped over an empire.
Specifically, the Assyrians.
Founded in 911 BCE, Assyria lasted for 300 years-just as long as some of the other empires that made the list.
Whoops.
Another problem is the so-called “Medio-Persian” empire. After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, between 616 BCE and 605 BCE, there was a unified Median state. It wasn’t Medio-Persian for another 50 years. It was just the Medes. Two separate empires. The Median kingdom was conquered in 550 BCE by Cyrus the Great who established the next Iranian dynasty—the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which lasted from 550 BCE–336 BCE.
Alexander the Great conquered the area in 332 BC for the Greeks. And then Roman Empire lasted from 146 BCE – 476 AD.
Then there was nothing happening with the statue for 1,500 years until the EU???
To sum up, there weren’t four major kingdoms between the time of Daniel and the present-day, there were seven.
Apologists for this interpretation have tried to defend it by saying that the kingdoms in question were only ones that ruled over Israel, because that’s all that mattered to God.
So what about the Muslims, whose domination of Israel led to the Crusades? Those empires were pretty big. What about the British Empire-you know, the one ruling over the Holy Land right before the modern state of Israel was created? Why aren’t the Brits on the statue?
And what about Assyria?
You see, the Medes didn’t rule Israel. But the Assyrians did.
The interpretation fails on every level.
Back to the drawing board.

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t know what’s wrong with WordPress, but they won’t let me double space between paragraphs.


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