The symbol of 'a woman riding a beast' is now widespead, and particularly in the European Union. For example, it is seen:
Europa carried away by a bull
(German Maritime Museum)
Image courtesy Hannes Grobe.
EU commemorative coin showing
Europa and the bull
Image courtesy European Central Bank
More Interesting EU Symbols
EU flag: the 12 stars probably have
deep Roman Catholic significance
EUROPE: MANY TONGUES ONE VOICE
The EU Parliament building, Strasbourg
Image courtesy Lukas Riebling.
Pergamon Altar, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Image courtesy Raimond Spekking.
Ishtar Gate, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Image courtesy Rictor Norton.
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How did Europe gets its name? Is there some prophetic significance in the name or its origin?
Let's consider a little Greek mythology. The favoured story goes that Europa, a Phoenician woman of high lineage, was seduced by the god Zeus and carried away to Crete. Zeus did this by disguising himself as a beautiful white bull and coaxing Europa to climb onto his back. Once there, he carried her off into the sea and on to Crete, where he raped her. Europa then became the first queen of Crete. The Romans adopted the myth but substituted their god Jupiter for Zeus.
It is claimed that Europa later stood for mainland Greece (recall Crete is an island off the SE corner of Greece) and then to lands north of Greece. Certainly, 'Europa seated on a bull' has been a motif in European art since Greco-Roman times, and in the eighth century Europa gained ecclesiastical usage under Charlemagne. Today, Europe is called Europa in the German language and in most other Germanic languages (except English). The actual term 'Europe' is generally derived from the Greek 'eurys' (broad) and 'ops' (face), which is an allusion to 'the broad face of the earth'. The strong Greek connection could be very significant in that Greece could be the country of origin of the final world dictator (see below).
Why is the Europa symbol (a woman on a beast) so widespread? Is it merely symbolising Europe or is there prophetic significance? Consider:
"... and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns."
This prophecy refers to the end time world system, and a common interpretation is that the woman symbolises an 'ecclesiastical Babylon' and the beast symbolises a 'political and commercial Babylon'. Revelation 17 describes the woman as 'Babylon the Great' whilst Rev 18 describes the fall of a commercial Babylon. In simplistic terms, a corrupt apostate church rides (and therefore by implication, controls) a corrupt and brutal political and commercial system. If Europa (Europe) really is a fulfillment of this prophecy then there must be other signs.
The Flag: Do we see an 'ecclesiastical Babylon' in Europe? The European Union (EU) flag comprises 12 golden stars on a blue background. Officially it is claimed that the circle of 12 stars represents 'solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe', the number 12 denoting 'perfection, completeness and unity' (in the Bible, 12 denotes 'governmental perfection').
An alternative explanation is that the flag was inspired by the halo of 12 stars around Catholic pictures of the Madonna and is an interpretation of Revelation 12.1. The Catholic church claims that the woman in Revelation represents the Virgin Mary or 'Mother of God', whereas Rev 12.1 actually refers to the woman 'Israel' and the 12 tribes of Israel. The EU flag could therefore have strong Roman Catholic significance and the 'ecclesiastical Babylon' could be be Vatican centred. The Bible supports this idea. For example, Rev 17.9 says that the woman sits on 'seven mountains' (ancient Rome was built on seven hills) and is clothed in purple and scarlet (Cardinals dress in scarlet or red and Bishops dress in purple).
The Vatican: In what sense is the woman riding the beast? It interesting that the Vatican is recognised at the UN as a sovereign state and the Pope has full rights as head of state to address the UN General Assembly. The Vatican can therefore influence debate at the highest level. Also, the Vatican has diplomatic relations with many nations and affects the laws of these nations.
Revelation 17.5 describes the woman as 'mother of harlots'. In the spiritual sense a harlot is one who commits spiritual fornication i.e. a church which leaves fundamental biblical teaching and compromises with the world. The Vatican has done this through interfaith meetings, where 'God' but not Jesus Christ is centre stage.
The Babel Connection: Babylon originated as the city of Babel and quickly degenerated into idolatry. Babel is well known for its (unfinished) tower, Nimrod's monument to the greatness of man rather than God. Today, the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg is modelled on this biblical structure, with a clear 'unfinished' appearance. An EU poster, known as 'the construction site poster', showed a painting of the partly constructed tower of Babel, with a crane in the background. It showed inverted stars above the tower (an inverted star is a witchcraft symbol) and the logo was 'EUROPE: MANY TONGUES ONE VOICE'. This glorification of man and unification against God is precisely why God destroyed man's efforts in Gen 11. A repeat performance is prophesied at the end of the age.
The Pergamon Connection: Berlin's Pergamon Museum exhibits ancient treasures such as the Pergamon Altar and Babylon's Ishtar Gate. The museum's objective is to exhibit major cultures such as those of Egypt, Mesopotamia (Babylon), Greece and Rome (note that these are the precise kingdoms seen by Daniel in his vision of the great statue - Dan 2). The Pergamon Altar (built 2nd century BC) was dedicated to Zeus and the freeze under the altar represents the struggle of gods and giants. It was destroyed during the first century AD, but was excavated by German archaeologists in the late 1800's and reconstructed in Berlin.
In 1913 German archaeologists found the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way in well preserved condition and began bringing the material back to Berlin. They were finally set up in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The Serious Implication: The fact that these archaeological treasures are now restored (and idolised) in Europe is significant. In Roman times Pergamum (Pergamon), located in Western Turkey, was the centre of the imperial religion, and Christ saw it as the seat of the power of evil i.e. "Satan's throne" (Rev 2.13). This is because the God-given power of the State had been harnessed to the blasphemous worship of man (the emperor), and those not loyal to the State were executed (Rev 2.13). So a building central to Satan's throne now stands virtually complete in Berlin! This monument came from a city where man not God was worshipped.
Also in the Pergamon Museum is the reconstructed Ishtar Gate. This was the gateway to go to the Temple of Ishtar in Babylon. When the Jews went into captivity they passed through this gate. It had pictures of 337 demons, the Babylonian snake-gods. Since 337 in Hebrew numerology means 'Hell on Earth', the Jews called this gate the 'Gateway to Hell'.
Why are these biblically Satanic monuments now residing in Europe? Is it significant that the Lisbon Treaty (formerly the EU Constitution) omits reference to God or Christianity (see also Reject the Lisbon Treaty)? Is Europe preparing the seat of the final world dictator in Rev 13 - a man who will demand to be worshipped as God? An alternative and plausible view is that these Satanic artifacts will be reclaimed by Turkey to be resited at Pergamum, the biblical location of Satan's throne (Rev 2.12,13).
A Political Dictatorship: Do we see a 'political and commercial Babylon' in Europe? Today, the EU is very much a political system, although it lacks democracy. The EU Commission is an unelected body of people (one for each member country) appointed by national governments for 5 years. The Commission President has very significant power. It meets in secret and enjoys a substantial degree of independence in exercising its powers. It has the right to propose legislation, and it does not take instructions from any national EU government! The EU Council (which is also unelected by EU citizens and meets in secret) is the EU's main decision-making body i.e. it makes EU policy. The 2009 Lisbon Treaty created a permanent President of the EU Council, the stated objective being 'to give the EU strategic leadership on the world stage'.
The EU Parliament (officially based in Strasbourg) is elected collectively by EU citizens but unlike national parliaments it does not have powers to initiate new laws; it can only accept, reject or put forward amendments to laws proposed by the Commission. According to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, the maximum number of members (MEPs) or seats in the European Parliament is 751, although the actual number fluctuates. With such a large number of MEPs, the Parliament claims to be the second largest democratic electorate in the world (after India). But if the Parliament cannot initiate laws, isn't this a phoney democracy? Moreover, some claim that seat number 666 is vacant!
Essentially then, the unelected Commission proposes new laws, and the Parliament and Council adopt them. The laws come down to member states as directives and they are helpless to amend or reject them. Directives must be incorporated into Member State law. To many, a political system which behaves in this way is a dictatorship! Read more at inconvenient EU truths.
EU law is enforced by the European Police Office (Europol) - the EU criminal intelligence agency. Europol is nationally invasive, spanning all 27 member states. For example, under EU law (Corpus Juris) an EU citizen can be arrested and imprisoned without anyone having to produce evidence against them, whilst EU protocol on the privileges and immunities of Europol employees gives them immunity from prosecution. In the UK, Europol now has unfettered access to political affiliation, routine, places frequented, DNA, tax obligations, voiceprints, and sexual preference of individuals for purposes of collecting criminal information. The EU is also developing its own army (initially 60,000 strong), independent of NATO.
Given what is essentially an EU political dictatorship with several powerful Presidents, an increasingly invasive EU police force, and a fledgling EU army, we might ask if these are the seeds of the end time dictatorship prophesied in Rev 13?
A Commercial Babylon: What about the commercial aspects? Babylon was a city of glory and splendour, and was the chief commercial city of the Tigris-Euphrates region. The end time Babylon has similar commercial ambitions. The EUís common trade policy operates at two levels. Firstly, within the World Trade Organisation (WTO), it is actively involved in setting the rules for the multilateral system of global trade (as such it is one of the key players in the WTO).
Secondly, the EU negotiates its own bilateral trade agreements with countries or regional groups of countries. For example, the EU and America are each other's main trading partners, and they exchange about 1.7 billion euros in trade each day! They are the largest players in global trade and together account for 57% of world GDP. Also, the EU is India's largest trading partner and China is the EU's second largest trading partner after the US. The enlarged EU of 27 member states is now China's largest export market. Clearly, the EU is rivalling America in terms of trade and may well be the leader of the commercial Babylon seen in Rev 18.
So is the European Union part of the end time scenario prophesied in the Bible? Is it even the leader of this end time World Government? Is it the 'revived Roman Empire' seen by many in Bible prophecy? Let's summarise some facts:
A New World Order or World Government is rapidly emerging. It is possible that the leader of this end time system, the coming 'man of lawlessness' (2 Thes 2.3), could arise from a region spanned by the historic Roman Empire, specifically SE Europe or the northern Middle East (Greece - Turkey - Syria - Iraq) - see world government. And the above study suggests that, if not in the Middle East, then Europe, even Germany, could be the seat of his power! The essential key is the Babylon-Nimrod connection (Nimrod was the first anti-God leader). You can investigate this further by looking at the total end time scenario; see The Last Years of this Age.
Whatever your viewpoint on the EU, the Bible says there are Steps You Must Take. It warns that you must give your life to Christ and not to the coming World Government!