“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” – Revelation 11:15
Since early in America’s history as a Republic, politics has been a source of ongoing frustration and bemusement. Will Rogers once observed, “Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.” That might be slightly better than another humorist who reported that his own brother had run for office. Asked what his brother did after the election, the insightful man said, “Nothing — he got elected!”
As a recovering politician (I served in the Kentucky legislature for 13 years), I understand both the idealism that draws some into “public service” and the disappointment most people feel about our own government. Following my first election to serve as a Representative, people would ask what I thought about serving in the legislature. I’d tell them it was everything I thought it would be — and less!
Aggravation with elected officials and ever-multiplying bureaucrats is one thing, but Americans are losing faith in the system itself, and with each other. One observer rightly says 100% of Americans think 50% of Americans have lost their minds. I’d up that percentage several points, because it seems that election after election, the wheels are coming off.
Politics is not just a playground for fanatics or a parlor game to pass the time. It is a realm of human activity that is woven throughout God’s prophetic Word.
Prophets as Political Pronouncers
I find it quite ironic when people claim that God has no interest in the affairs of mankind in general, or the political infighting that happens within and between nations. Many Old Testament prophecies had to do with the behavior of kings and kingdoms — forthtelling God’s pronouncement of judgment based on several factors, including personal conduct, administration of justice, adherence to His laws, and treatment of His people.
Most of the original prophets (including Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua) were raised up to deliver messages to the chosen offspring of Israel. When a man of God said, “Thus saith the LORD…” people listened, or to their great discredit and regret, did not.
Once Israel demanded and was granted a king, prophets were sent by God to intercede on His behalf. Samuel anointed both Saul and David. Nathan was raised up to chastise David in a dramatic rebuke from the Lord, and then was instrumental in Solomon ascending to the throne as his chosen heir. Ahijah pronounced the division of the kingdom into Israel and Judah (1 Kings 11:28-38). Unnamed prophets, such as the man of God who came from Judah, decried the false religion Jeroboam had introduced in Israel.
Later, prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Joel denounced the widespread apostasy and rebellion of the Jewish people — calling them to repent and turn back to God. At other times, they and others like Amos and Zephaniah and Zechariah spoke to the nations surrounding Judah and Israel. Jonah and Nahum were sent specifically to prophesy to Israel’s mortal enemy, Nineveh.
The Lord’s pronouncement of blessings and curses were not just for the Jews. David foretold a great curse on those who opposed the Lord’s anointed (Psalm 40:14-15). Ezekiel prophesied vindication to the mountains of Israel against the enemy nations that had spoken against God’s promises. Ezekiel spoke condemnation on Ammon, Moab, and Tyre — for gloating while Israel was being punished (saying “Aha!” as Ezekiel put it) or dismissively assuming that “the house of Judah is like all the nations” (Ezekiel 25:2-4, 8-11; 25:2-5).
Is God uninterested in the affairs of men or the sordid sphere of human endeavor we call politics? Absolutely not. If anything, much of His prophetic Word that points to the return of Jesus Christ is intertwined with His proclamations regarding world politics.
Nations of the World As Prophetic Beacons
In addition to the other categories of signs, there are clear indications of Jesus’ imminent return in the alignment of nations today. But because we exist in the moment — aware of the present but forgetful of the past and uncertain of the future — we sometimes miss the forest for the trees.
To gain understanding, we must start and end with the Word of God. On top of that, it is much easier to recognize patterns looking at the past and then extrapolate them to the future. What do I mean by that? Consider Daniel’s prophecies of a succession of kingdoms in Daniel 2 and 7. Envisioned by Nebuchadezzar as a mighty statue but by Daniel as a series of four beasts, the vision is clearly understood now to refer to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The editors of my NASB Bible have even inserted helpful sub-headings within those chapters to explain the accepted prophetic meaning of the passage. The Lord revealed that Medo-Persia and Greece would succeed Babylon (Daniel 8:20-21). Yet even Daniel did not understand all he was foreseeing.
Daniel asked the Lord about the very revelations he was recording but did not understand. He was told, “Go your way Daniel, for these words are sealed up until the end time” (Daniel 12:4, 9). God said many would be purged, purified, and refined, but “those who have understanding will understand” (Daniel 12:10).
Hindsight, and the fact that much of what Daniel recorded was sealed up “until the end of time,” has allowed us to gain understanding that even the great prophet Daniel lacked over 2,500 years ago.
Regarding the nations of the world, Jesus said that among the signs preceding His coming and the end of the age, nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom (Matthew 24:6-8). The prophesied end-time state of the nations — or what we call the Sign of World Politics — is coming into alignment. Here are six indicators:
01. The Roman Empire has been resurrected in the form of the European Union
Daniel prophesied a sequence of empires that would end with the Roman Empire. Daniel was also clear that the final mortal empire would remain on the world scene, diminished in overarching power for a long period and brittle compared to the monolith that was Rome in Christ’s day.
For the past 2000 years, the nations within the territory that once constituted the Roman Empire have been in near constant conflict. Ostensibly united in Christian faith since before the Middle Ages, they still have been divided by language, culture, geography, and nationalistic aspirations.
Following the devastating wars of the last century, European politicians clamored for a unified European government. Through fits and starts, the European Union (EU) is comprised of 27 nations that represent most of the western Roman Empire.
Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the EU has a single currency, a united military, and a homogenized identity. But, it still lacks a strong central leader — resulting in periodic economic and diplomatic tension. That reality is a fulfillment of Daniel’s End Times prophecy of a kingdom combining iron with clay — simultaneously strong and brittle (Daniel 2:41-43).
Daniel also foretold that this final kingdom will eventually be led by a single strong leader — the man who will emerge as the Antichrist (Daniel 7:7-8; 8:9-14, 23-25; and 9:26-27).
Shockingly, many European leaders are actually clamoring for just such a man. Paul-Henri Spaak, who once served as the Prime Minister of Belgium, said this:
We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.
At all times and in all seasons, Satan has had just such a man poised and ready to go.
In the second part of this series covering the end times sign of world politics, we will look at what the Bible prophesies concerning Russia and the United States.