Germany has arguably become the most influential nation in Europe and one of the most powerful nations in the world. As it turns from the shadows of its past to face the future, can Bible prophecy tell us what to expect? What is in store for this great nation? What role will it play in the end times? You need to know!
What does the name “Germany” mean to you? Perhaps you think of German cars: BMWs or Mercedes-Benz roadsters, known around the world for their craftsmanship and engineering. Perhaps you think of Germany’s opening up her doors to immigrants in 2015. Maybe you think of the German national football team (soccer, for our American readers) winning the World Cup in 2014. For others, the name Germany might bring to mind Oktoberfest, famous for food, music and beer.
My great-grandparents came from Germany, migrating to America just before World War I. We loved our great-grandmother, and we have fond memories of visiting with her and other family members. She was always gentle and kind, with delicious treats ready whenever we came!
There are many things we can admire about Germany. And yet, there is a dark side, too. If you are a history buff, you might think of images of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Images of death camps and swastikas will forever be a stain on the twentieth century. Some of you may have personally visited the Nazi camps or perhaps know of survivors who endured untold misery at the hands of the Nazis. Maybe some of you experienced that yourself. Unbelievably, there are some who deny the Holocaust, despite overwhelming evidence given by eyewitnesses who liberated the camps and those who survived the camps to recount the story. Truly, Germany has some horrific deeds in its past.
Why should we discuss Germany today, in the twenty-first century? Because, for all the progress over the last 70-plus years, for all the safeguards of personal freedoms enshrined in German law, some are deeply concerned about Germany. We should be.
After World War II, Germany was split apart, partitioned into West Germany and East Germany. It was that way until October 3, 1990, when the two countries were unified. But the reunification was not a foreordained fact, nor was it met with favor everywhere. Note this comment from the 1992 book The Germans, Who Are They Now?: “[When unification came] no one had expected it. Few had anticipated it and abroad it was not greeted with universal acclaim. In the United Kingdom, the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher had grave reservations. She feared the power of a united Germany and said so… Margaret Thatcher was clearly concerned and called a conference at Chequers to discuss the German national character, but neither she nor any other Western leader had any power to alter events” (Alan Watson. The Germans: Who Are They Now? 1992, p. 11).
Is it true that “no one had expected” the unification of Germany? No! In the early twentieth century, Herbert W. Armstrong—our predecessor in this Work—was writing about Germany and how it would again rise as a united, powerful juggernaut. How could he know? It was revealed in Bible prophecy!
The ancient nation of Assyria was the precursor of the modern Germans. So, while you won’t find the name “Germany” in your Bible, you will find many things prophesied for Assyria. The purpose of this article is not to prove the origin of the modern Germans—for further study into that topic, you can write for our special free offer, “Resurgent Germany: A Fourth Reich?” But in the following pages, we will examine four prophecies that Germany will fulfill in the end-times.
Prophecy #1: Germany Will Dominate Europe
Back in 2011, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made a remarkable statement. He said: “The current [economic] crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy… We will have to give up national sovereignty” (Brian Rohan. “Former German leader calls for “United States of Europe,” Reuters.com, September 4, 2011).
This is now beginning to happen. Nations in Europe are today giving up their sovereignty to make the European Union work. The British left the EU in 2016 because some didn’t like that fact! But when all give up their sovereignty, someone is in charge. Who will that someone be? As the Irish Independent newspaper stated, also in 2011, “[Since Germany] is providing the [financial] safety net for the whole euro zone, no one is going to argue with them running everything…” (“Deutschland uber alles, we are all Germans now.” Independent.ie, August 21, 2011).
In the years since, we have seen Germany consolidating its power at the center of the European Union. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been called Europe’s most impressive politician, and the most powerful woman in the world. She has also been described as a political mastermind, who, “using the European Union as her vehicle… has succeeded where Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler failed—turning an entire continent into a greater German Empire” (Dominic Sandbrook. “Angela Merkel has made Germany master of Europe in a way Hitler and Kaiser Wilhelm only dreamt of. The implications are frightening.” DailyMail.co.uk, April 19, 2013).
Germany’s power and prestige is growing all over the globe. In a May 2013 poll, Germany emerged as “the most popular country in the world” (“BBC poll: Germany most popular country in the world.” BBC.com, May 23, 2013). In January of 2016, a U.S. News World Report poll analyzed countries according to 75 criteria. Once again, Germany took the top spot, named, “the best country in the world” (Jonathan Chew. “This Country Was Named the Best in the World.” Fortune.com, January 20, 2016).
Germany is becoming a central figure in Europe, and the world. Are we seeing the rise of the superpower spoken of in the Book of Revelation by the Apostle John? In Revelation 17, John described a span of centuries, from the Middle Ages to our time, during which successive empires rose and fell. Here is how it reads: “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time” (Revelation 17:9-10). John was saying there were to be seven leaders over seven successive kingdoms. Who were those leaders? Justinian, who united the eastern and western sections of the Roman empire in 556ad; Charlemagne, who was crowned in 800ad; Otto the Great, crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 962ad; Charles V, in 1530ad; Napoleon, whose empire began in 1804; and the German-Italian alliance, which led to the Hitler-Mussolini Axis Powers of World War II. These are the first six of the seven kings. The final king will reign over ten other kings just before Jesus Christ returns, and will attempt to fight against the Son of God. “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.” (Revelation 17:12–13).
These ten kings—or ten political leaders—will voluntarily give their authority to one powerful leader the Bible calls the beast. Are we seeing the beginnings of that taking place today? Certainly, we don’t see the Beast power in its final form, but are we seeing the initial stages of the foundation being laid?
You might ask: what’s wrong with Germany taking a more dominant role on the European continent? After all, isn’t Germany one of America’s closest allies? Absolutely! The Germans are the friends of the Americans—for now. But it’s good to stop and ponder the fact that just 70 short years ago, Britain, France, America, Canada and a whole host of other nations were locked in a bitter, life-and-death struggle with Germany and Italy. Your Bible says it will happen again.
Prophecy #2: Germany Will Rearm
Since World War II, Germany has had a definite anti-war mood and posture, as it seeks to shake off the horrors of its past. However, that mood is changing. Back in 2014, the German Minister of the Economy called for “the establishment of an EU armament industry with a strong German base, independent of the USA” (“Driving Force for the EU Army.” German ForeignPolicy.com, December 8, 2014).
The United States is cheering Germany’s newfound will to rearm and exert its military power! On June 22, 2015, at the Allianz forum in Berlin, United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised Germany’s steps in taking on a greater military leadership role. He urged the Germans to invest even more money into defense, saying that Germany should “bolster its defense spending to ‘ensure that Germany’s defense investments match Germany’s leadership role’” (Sheryl Pellerin. “Carter Praises Germany’s Security Role, NATO Unity.” Defense.gov, June 22, 2015).
Of course! Why wouldn’t the Americans want Germany to share more of the burden of her own defense? The United States can’t police the world. And America, frankly, is saddled with her own staggering debt. The Germans know they can’t depend on the United States long-term. And so, Germany is sliding toward a stronger military.
But how is this taking shape? Again, European nations are giving up national sovereignty, and a vacuum of power will always be filled. A 2017 report published by Foreign Policy magazine explained how a growing number of European countries are integrating some of their own brigades into Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr:
Romania’s 81st Mechanized Brigade will join the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Response Forces Division, while the Czech 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, which has served in Afghanistan and Kosovo and is considered the Czech Army’s spearhead force, will become part of the Germans’ 10th Armored Division. In doing so, they’ll follow in the footsteps of two Dutch brigades, one of which has already joined the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Response Forces Division and another that has been integrated into the Bundeswehr’s 1st Armored Division (Elisabeth Shaw. “Germany Is Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command.” ForeignPolicy.com, May 22, 2017).
The article notes, “According to Carlo Masala, a professor of international politics at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich, ‘The German government is showing that it’s willing to proceed with European military integration’—even if others on the continent aren’t yet.”
Merging—but someone is in charge. Guess who? The Germans. Do you see what’s happening? It’s all so slow and so peaceful, and for peaceful aims—such as fighting terrorism. But, little by little, Germany is coming to dominate Europe politically and militarily.
If we had nothing to guide us, not understanding prophecy, we might see Germany’s rearming as a good thing. What could be better than a powerful ally on the other side of the Atlantic? Especially one that is committed to democratic principles, personal liberties and fiscal responsibility. The problem is that prophecy speaks of the final resurgence of an ancient European nation that leads the world in a military buildup like we have never seen before. Daniel chapter 11 details 2,500 years of prophecy, from the time of the Persian Empire to the return of Jesus Christ. One of the major themes of the chapter is the ongoing conflict between the “king of the North” and the “king of the South.” The coming Beast power of Europe will fill that role as the “king of the North.” And this is how Daniel describes him: “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:37–38).
Daniel is saying this European king of the North would actually worship a “god of fortresses”—of “forces” or “strongholds.” This empire will be so intent on obtaining and developing the most powerful weapons on earth that the Bible describes it as virtually worshipping its own military prowess. Who is that going to be? Not the United States. Not with its staggering debt. Rather, it will be a coming German-led Beast power leading the way in a global arms race that will leave the United States, Britain and their allies woefully behind.
Why is this important? Because the balance of power is shifting. Our world is changing, and the norms of the last few decades are going to disappear!
Prophecy #3: Germany Will Go to War
As stated above, Germany will rearm—in a terrifying way. And those arms will be used in horrifying wars in the future. Notice in Daniel 11:39–40: “Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.”
Daniel explains that the king of the North—the European Beast power, with Germany at its core—will go to war. It will invade the Middle East, overwhelm an Islamic confederation—the king of the South—and occupy Jerusalem. There will be war. The tension that is building now between north and south, Europe and the Muslim world, will erupt into flames.
What will happen to the United States? America will also be overwhelmed by this European juggernaut. Isaiah records that God will use Germany—modern Assyria—to punish America for our sins. Isaiah 10:5–6 states: “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” Anciently, that’s what Assyria did. They conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 721bc and removed the whole nation into captivity.
But there is a dual fulfillment. The ancient tribes of Israel are today located in America, the British Commonwealth and northwest Europe—nations increasingly filled with sinful, immoral behavior. God will use a terrifying, warlike nation to correct them, just as He did in ancient times. Germany—modern Assyria—will do that. How can we be so sure? Follow the prophecy. Read in Isaiah 27:13: “So it shall be in that day: the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria… and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
At the time of the end, in that day, at the last trumpet, there will be a regathering of people. They will be regathered from captivity in the land of Assyria. Clearly this is talking about the second coming of Jesus Christ. It could not be talking about ancient Israel—they never returned from Assyria. It has to be a prophecy of a yet future event.
Germany will rearm. Germany will dominate Europe. And Germany will fight. That’s the warning for the Germans—and the warning for those who will be overrun by them. But there is good news as well!
Prophecy #4: Will Repent and Rebuild
After Germany vanquishes the Israelite and Islamic nations, it will fight against a massive horde from the East. This is the dreaded World War III, and the fallout of this military clash will kill one-third of humanity (Revelation 9:12–19)! However, the armies will eventually join forces for what is popularly called the “Battle of Armageddon” and will gather at Megiddo, north of Jerusalem, to battle against a third force—the returning, glorified Jesus Christ. But it won’t be much of a fight. He will vanquish them, utterly destroy their armies and cast the Beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
But what happens next is a vital key that gives hope to the German people! After this horrific battle—after rebellious mankind has been humbled and corrected—there will be survivors. Jesus Christ will gather the survivors from the land of Assyria, and other places as well. They’ll be given food and water. They’ll be healed from their wounds and injuries. Jesus Christ will start a reconstruction effort across the globe. People will be given homes and lands and a chance to start afresh. But this time they will know the true God and His truth, and they’ll have access to His Holy Spirit. Things will get better.
Notice a startling prophecy in chapter 19 of the book of Isaiah. The timing is during the early portion of the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ, after He has returned to Earth. Isaiah 19:22–23 states: “And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.”
This is an astonishing prophecy! It foretells a time of peace after World War III. There will be peace between the nations that fought one another and who fought the returning Jesus Christ! There will be peace. Not only that, but the Germans, Arabs, Americans, British and others will serve together in rebuilding society. As Isaiah states: “In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance’” (Isaiah 19:24–25).
What a wonderful picture of the future! This happens at the beginning of the Millennium, when Christ has put down all resistance. God does not hate Germany—He loves the German people! And the Bible shows that He will use the tremendous strengths and talents of the Germans to help rebuild the world, after they repent.
The warning today is for modern Israel, but also for the German people. They are warned not to be pulled into a system that will raise its ugly head one more time, with disastrous results. The message is also that, when it’s all over, God is a loving God, and He will draw all people to Himself. The nations will begin to rebuild, and that effort will be led by Israel, Egypt and Germany—enemies at the end of this age but allies in the one to come next.
God’s plan is tremendous, and Bible prophecy lines it all up. It’s so plain to see when we let God lay it all out, and we can accept it with a willing heart and mind. Let’s thank God for His mercy, strength, power and wisdom. He will let the powerful nations of the world learn vital lessons. And in the end, He will extend mercy to all who want it, who accept His way and who obey Him. That’s what we can look forward to: a day of prophesied peace for all nations, including Germany.