Students of Bible prophecy have long speculated on the identities of the ten kings (or leaders) who come together to form a revived Roman Empire immediately prior to Christ’s Second Coming.
“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. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14 NKJV)
There has often been speculation on what exactly will bring them all together. Daniel 11:40-44 suggests it will be a threat from the Middle East.
Likely, nobody thought it would be the President of the United States!
He has been pushing the European members of NATO to increase their contributions to the defense of NATO. It was agreed a few years ago that all would spend at least 2% of their GDP. This is certainly the fairest way to finance the military alliance. But it can be misleading. The British and the Greeks have always spent more than 2% on defense. Why the Greeks? – because of the very serious threat from neighboring Turkey, also a NATO member. They are not spending more on the military to boost NATO.
Now, Mr. Trump is demanding everybody contribute 4% of their GDP. This would more than double the military strength of the European members of NATO. What if they later decided to leave NATO and go it alone? They could equal America’s military power.
President Trump claimed that NATO is financed 90% by the US. This is not true. The highest figure I could find on the internet was 70.1 %, but usually it was a few points lower than that.
There are problems with what might be termed “NATO bashing.”
Firstly, NATO was formed in 1949 following World War II. The idea was to keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in. The United States, having learned after World War One that isolationism is not a good idea, wanted to make sure it had a permanent presence in Europe. America may be the dominant member of NATO, but it is only one member in a 29-member alliance, arguably the most successful multinational alliance in history.
If NATO falls apart, Americans don’t just go home and carry on American business as usual. An end to NATO will mean the US ceasing to be the world’s dominant power. No longer could the president be labeled as “the leader of the free world,” as the US would not be leading anything.
It should also be remembered that only once in NATO’s seventy-year history has the famous Clause 5 been invoked. This is the clause that says an attack on one country is an attack on all. The only occasion in which all the members came to the aid of one member under attack was on 9/11 when the US itself was under attack. This clause is at the heart of the Washington Treaty, signed by President Truman seven decades ago.
President Trump’s two days in Brussels has had the effect of uniting the Europeans against Washington; and also will, in time ,boost Europe’s defenses.
He gave special attention to Germany, which only spends 1.24% of GDP on defense. Overlooked is the fact that, in the past, nobody wanted Germany to spend more. It has a history of aggressive militarism. Does the West really want to rearm Germany?
After leaving Brussels, Mr. Trump flew across the Channel to visit Prime Minister Theresa May, have tea with Queen Elizabeth and spend the weekend in Scotland.
As I write, I am watching Sky News. It is showing the start of what is expected to be a large anti-Trump demonstration in London. A twenty-foot balloon (costing over $20,000), showing a bloated Trump as a baby in diapers, is flying over London, approved by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani origin. Most demonstrators seem to be upset at US immigration policies and specifically at the separation of families at the border. This policy has now been ended. As European countries are finally doing something about illegal immigration, perhaps these demonstrators could turn their attention elsewhere!
It’s rather hypocritical for demonstrators to criticize Trump’s comments on Brexit, when he is not British; while they are condemning his immigration policies when they do not live in the US. The demonstration is not as big as expected – a Sky News poll this morning showed most British people in agreement with the US president on key issues.
It is certainly not in the UK’s interest to upset Mr. Trump at this point in time.
President Trump’s visit is colliding with a domestic crisis over Brexit. A week ago today Mrs. May met with her Cabinet to discuss a united approach to negotiations with the EU. Britain is set to leave the organization in March of next year, less than nine months away.
Although the majority of people in the UK voted to leave the EU, Mrs. May did not. Her proposals would tie the United Kingdom to the European Union, even though it would not be a voting member, making it the worst of both worlds. The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, resigned along with some others. Mr. Johnson said that the UK would become a “colony” under May’s proposals. Mrs. May’s government could fall at any time, as she does not have a majority in parliament and this issue is the most contentious issue the country has faced for a long time.
Enter Mr. Trump.
In an interview in one of Britain’s trashiest newspapers (the Sun), Mr. Trump criticizes May for not following his advice in negotiations with the EU. He even went so far as to say that his friend, Boris Johnson, would make a great prime minister! Mr. Trump is also friends with Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit campaign. The US president does not hide the fact that he supports Brexit, but interference in another country’s internal affairs is unprecedented and could backfire, with British voters turning against Brexit following the president’s comments.
But Trump’s visit could also be timely – if he offers London a generous trading agreement.
He has, however, made it clear that it will only be possible if the UK completely breaks away from the EU.
Are we seeing the continental countries grouping around Germany while the US and UK go their own way? Again, long time Bible students have known this is part of the final global scenario. It’s taking time to get there, but world events are moving in that direction.
Footnote: Mrs. May has just spoken with President Trump beside her and announced that, after leaving the EU in March, the US and UK “will pursue an ambitious UK-US free trade agreement.” They were speaking at Chequers, the prime minister’s country home.
On Thursday evening, the president was entertained at a black tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, at the request of the president.
Monday, July 16th, marks the 100th anniversary of the assassinations of the Romanov family, Czar Nicholas II, his wife and children, plus their servants.