The following is an article from Watching and Waiting, a publication by Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony. The article is titled “Where is Europe Heading? Part 2 – Financially”, by David McMillan. Note that I don’t agree with everything in the article, but the main points about the coming financial system are quite perceptive.
One of the main arguments made for staying in the European Union is commercialism. This argument is made continually, and it highlights the fact that what most people are concerned about is not Scriptural values, but money and markets. Sadly, we live in a very materialistic society and most people are not influenced by what is right before God but what is financially profitable.
In Zechariah 5:6 we are told, ‘And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, this is their resemblance through all the earth.’ This is a very significant verse and it is found in a key prophetical passage of Scripture because it reveals to us where Europe is heading financially. The prophet here draws our attention to the Ephah; which is very interesting and instructive. The Ephah was the largest measure for dry goods and it reminds us of the marketplace. In the Bible the Ephah is the symbol of commerce, finance, and trade (Leviticus 19:36; Ezekiel 45:10; and Amos 8:5). It speaks of the one who is the merchant and the trader. Why is it used here in this passage by the prophet Zechariah? So as to stress that the main focus, characteristic and priority of Europe in the future will be commercialism and trade. The lesson here is that a day is fast coming upon us (if it is not already here) when commerce will control the nations and especially the nations of the prophetic earth around the Mediterranean Sea. We are also shown that the main centre in all that trade will be Babylon because the final verse of the chapter teaches that the Ephah is going to be carried to ‘the land of Shinar’ (Zechariah 5:11). Therefore, when Babylon is rebuilt it will become the future commercial centre of the European Confederacy of nations.
It is very enlightening to learn from this passage that the European nations will not use the mitre or the sceptre or the sword as the Roman Empire did in the past; but they will gain control of the nations through the Ephah; in other words, through trade and trade agreements such as the U. K. is still to negotiate with the European Union. Today there are more trade agreements than ever and it does not matter with whom you make the agreement, or how the agreement is made, or how many laws of God are broken in the carrying out of the agreement. If it is done in the name of trade and it helps the economy, then it is seen to be good for the nations.
The Common Market
It is important to notice that the trade about which Zechariah is teaching us will have a great unity to it. In verse 9 of the chapter he tells us to consider the two women who are carrying the Ephah; here are two groups or two areas that are flying and working together. Think of the east and the west of the Mediterranean Sea; which were the two main divisions in the old Roman Empire, (the Latin in the west and the Greek in the east). We learn here that those regions are going to come together and have a united purpose and a united project in the rebuilding of Babylon for trade and commerce.
The prophet also says of the Ephah in verse 6, ‘this is their resemblance through all the earth.’ The earth of which the prophet spoke is primarily the Roman or the Prophetic earth and he is revealing to us that in that region the standard of trade is going to be the same for everyone. In fact, you could describe it as a ‘common market.’ Those two word form on of the old names of the European Union and it is what we have in the European Union today; and that policy will be developed more and more in the future.
It is very significant in this context to point out that the Ephah was measured in multiples of ten. Ezekiel tells us that an Ephah contains the tenth part of an homer and also that ten baths make up an homer (Ezekiel 45:11 and 14). It is important to note that an Ephah and a bath were the same quantity (Ezekiel 45:11). So here is a commercial system that is clearly based on a multiple of tens. How relevant that is in the light of what is happening in Europe today. Consider for a moment the decimal system that was introduced in Britain by European influence in February 1971. Think too of the metric system of weights and measurements that are now used across Europe which all follow the decimal system based on multiples of ten. Europe is seeking to control commerce and establish a common market in the nations under its control; as the prophet says, “Their resemblance is the same through all the earth.’
In addition to this, remember that in January 2002 the Euro zone was introduced because they wanted all nations in the EU to use the same currency, which is presently the case with nineteen of the twenty eight member states. They also want all the EU countries to trade with the same rules and the same prices. Then on top of all that, they want all member states to have economies which are on the same level; which is very difficult for some countries to achieve.
These things are unfolding before our eyes and they reveal that the European Union wants to have such control over commerce that it intends the same trade rules to apply throughout the whole of the European region.
The Bible also reveals that there is a day coming when political powers, especially in the European Union of nations, will place major controls upon the finances of its citizens and their ability to trade. The central government of the future Union of nations will even go as far as controlling the ability of people to buy and sell. In the Book of the Revelation, the Apostle John speaks clearly of this fearful time when he says, ‘And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name’ (Revelation 13:16-17). These verses are referring to the time of the Antichrist during the last three and a half years of this age, and in those days all who live in the European Confederacy of Nations will not be able to trade without the mark of the beast. This will be the ultimate control that will be placed upon the finances of the people.
The Mark of the Beast
A very interesting question that is often asked in this context is, what is the mark of the beast? We suggest that it could be a type of electronic chip. If you think of the development in recent years of bank and credit cards that are called chip and pin and the chip contains all your financial details. Also, all new passports have a chip containing the holder’s personal details. It will soon be the case that all your personal and financial details will be held on a chip which then for security and to avoid identity theft, will be implanted either in a person’s hand or forehead. This, of course, is nothing new. After the tragedy of 9/11 in the USA chips were developed and parents had them implanted in their children so that they would always know their location. There are also nations like Sweden that have developed chips to replace the use of cash and for people to use in their regular financial transactions. This new project was publicised in the news in early 2018. So we expect something of this nature to be developed so that the Antichrist will place such a control on trade that you will not be able to perform even one purchase or sale without it.
How Will People Live?
That raises the relevant question, how will those who are alive and living in the European Union at that time be able to live and get food, if they do not take the mark of the Beast? We get some help in answering that question by thinking of the drought that came upon Israel in the days of Elijah. The drought then lasted for three and a half years. The story is a picture of the final period of this age, the three and a half years of the great tribulation period when the Antichrist will exercise his rule of terror (Ahab is a picture of the Antichrist). During the drought in Israel Elijah was so hunted and persecuted by Ahab that he had to go into hiding; and so too will the Christians in the days of the Antichrist. This meant that Elijah could not buy or sell but the Lord provided for him in a miraculous way both at Cherith and at Zarephath; and the Lord will do the same for His people who will be alive during that awful end-time period.
We are told that during the years of famine in Egypt money failed. That was the first cashless society and because they had no money they could not trade to buy food. However, the Lord met their needs and He will do the same for His people in the days of the Antichrist.
Let me point out that one of the characteristics of the Antichrist is that he will be a genius. In Daniel 8:23 the Antichrist is described as, ‘understanding dark sentences.’ The meaning of those words is, that which baffles others will be simple to him. The Hebrew word that is here translated ‘dark sentences’ is the same one that is translated ‘hard questions’ in 1 Kings 10:1; where we are told of the Queen of Sheba coming to Solomon to test his wisdom with her hard questions. It is also the word that is used for Samson’s riddle in Judges 14. The word indicates that the Antichrist will have great intellectual ability. Keep in mind how he is described by Ezekiel, ‘Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee’ (Ezekiel 28:3). His genius will be one of his outstanding characteristics. His brilliant mind is what will attract others to him and one area in which that brilliance will stand out will be commerce. The Antichrist will be a financial genius. Daniel reveals this aspect of his reign when he says, ‘And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand’ (Daniel 8:25). Antichrist will sort out the entire financial crisis in the nations around the Mediterranean Sea. All commerce will be under his personal control; no one will be able to trade without his say so (Revelation 13:17). Great riches will be under his control as we are plainly told by Daniel, ‘ But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt’ (Daniel 11:43). He will also have great personal wealth because Daniel makes mention of his ‘palace’ (Daniel 11:45). He is one who will live like a king.
The reality is that all the current events in Europe and all the financial turmoil in European countries, the great prominence given to business deals and trade talks, is all preparing the way for the emergence of the Antichrist, because one thing that he will do when he arises will be to take total control of and sort out the finances of the nations of the European confederacy of nations.
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