The Ten Kingdoms of The Revelation?
Religion and politics went together for the most part of history of mankind, sometimes religion strengthening the thrones of kings, other times the secular power contributing to the enforcement of the religious teaching in some part of the world.
Buddhism was just a small school of thought before King Asoka converted to the new religion and fostered it in the entire East Asia.
Islam was from the beginning conceived as a religion with a secular arm that would spread it throughout the world. Even to this day, Shia and Sunni Muslim are quarreling over the way God appoints his lieutenant on earth.
Christianity was a small religion in a distant part of the world and was prosecuted because it shared the same targeted public with Judaism, another small religion in a remote corner of the world.
When emperor Constantine took office, the Christianity thrived like no other and in a matter of decades it engulfed an entire continent. Constantine took it after King David, whose reign imposed Mosaic religion as the religion of one God who speaks to his elected people.
When the Protestants broke away from the Catholic church, they attempted to impose the rule of faith and Scripture above all the abomination they had seen and criticized in Rome, where pope had proclaimed the head of the church and the lieutenant of God on earth and from that office dispensed both forgiveness and princely crowns to his people.
But soon enough, Protestants understood that the best way to avoid collective burning to the stake was to bring secular power onto their side, and so they came up with a principle that was more popish that the pope’s false pretense to be the head of the Christian church: cujus region, ejus religio, they said, “he who has the religion has the power.”
Byzantine Empire, one of the most sophisticated and Christian civilizations in the history, was ruled by a “symphonic” power that combined the office of the Patriarch with the one of the “bishop of those outside the walls [of the church],” the emperor.
Religion is one of the most important factors in the life of human beings, whether they are believers or not. For that matter it is not surprising to see that the history of the world is underlied, without the knowledge of most of the people, by religious fights that run very deep, and are very present in the everyday life under various forms.
The enmity between Jews and Muslims for instance runs as deep as the times of Abraham, who had his illegitimate son Ishmael sent into exile along with his mother, Hagar, while his legitimate son Isaac remained by his mother Sarah, and became the next patriarch.
The division between the Eastern and Western Europe is motivated by a schisms created by the wrong interpretation of a conjunction: in stead of understanding that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, the Western theologians taught their faithful that he proceeded from the Father and the Son, creating the Filioque dispute that has separated the continent for ever.
Treating religious realities as irrelevant to this world is by all means a deadly mistake. The same goes for misinterpreting religious messages to apply them to theological concepts.
Since the ancients times, Christians have sought to understand the will of God toward their lives and their world.
At first they lived with the hope that God will come as soon as possible to rescue them from the terrifying oppressors, and to live with them in the promised kingdom, where no evil exists anymore. This is how the Holy Bible ends: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 21,20)
As the persecution diminished and finally disappeared the apocalyptical desire of the first Christians “quenched,” and apocalyptical theology moved its emphasis from the arrival of Jesus and the beautiful everlasting life at his side to a prior episode, that of the arrival of the deceiver Antichrist.
As the Christians diversified their convictions and built their secular states to become more and more powerful, more and more resembling to the kingdom of God, the arrival of Antichrist was perceived as a threat to the paradise already conquered. On Earth.
It is not surprising then that an entire “science” was developed to ascertain when the Antichrist may “strike.” The Book of Revelation became the tool by which many theologians attempted to build their interpretation of the last days, even though the fathers of the early church had warned and recommended extreme caution when dealing with a prophecy so well encoded such as the narrative of the last days of mankind as we know it.
Needless to say that the most notorious thing in the Revelation is the number of the beast, which was applied to almost all the worldly leaders throughout ages, especially if they were on opposite sides, whatever that side referred to.
Not even popes were spared this labeling, especially after the Reformation in the 16th century, when the papal office was deemed as the see of Antichrist altogether.
A mysterious account remains that of the “ten horns” and “ten crowns” that the Book of Revelation speaks about in her chapter 17: “The ten horns you saw are three kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who, for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose, and they will give authority to the beast” (Revelation 17.12,13)
In time these words were also ascribed to various kingdoms that were created in one era or another and who crumbled to dust longtime ago.
Even though by hindsight it seems rather ridiculous to think that the ten kingdoms of Antichrist were the little European kingdoms of the Francs, Burgunds, Huns, or Picts, the situation is different to some extent when we are presented with ten administrative bodies that encompass the entire territory of the planet.
Biblical or not, the idea of creating continental unions that would comprise the entire world is as strange as it is the idea of creating a system of global monitoring of the entire population with the prospect of implanting some sort of chip into the human body that would have all the information about the person in question, a project that is in its testing phase in some countries and is motivated by the increased security of the individual, but is construed by some Christians as the famous wearing of the sign of the beast.
So, are the ten continental bodies in different stages of formation in the world the ten kingdoms or they are merely the solutions the world leaders found in order to protect and serve the citizens on these continents?
Where did this idea of building these continental organization come from, why are they conceived to be so similar to each other and why are they ten just like the biblical prophecy?
An attempt to find an explanation to all these questions was made by dispensationalist Protestants, who tabled the idea that the United Nations were no more than the future empire of the Antichrist.
They wrote books about the ten kingdoms, and made movies about the ascension to power of the Antichrist in our time.
One of the most impressive such films is Left Behind, even though it is not the only such sort of film.
Left Behind, which combines the biblical prophecies of the Book of Revelation with the sinister tales about the famous Dracula, succeeds in creating another character, Nicolae Carpathia, who can be seen on Youtube often assimilated even to the current president of the United States, whom some more radical Christians consider Antichrist himself.
Nicolae Carpathia is a Romanian leader (no one explains in the movie why is he Romanian, and there is no answer to such question on his Facebook page either) who unites the world into ten kingdoms (the continental bodies), whose leaders hold power for a short while (the biblical “hour”) and then hand it to him in a bloody ritual that befits so much the nature of the leadership in question.
Of course, this is just a movie, one of many similar movies. But the hard fact is that the continents are being united, and even though they are less than ten, the continental bodies succeed somehow to be exactly ten.
If one takes into account that the leaders of these bodies are often people with no religion, or even worse, advocates of atheist vision of the world, then the question about the ten kingdoms can hardly be avoided.
Let’s take a look at these organizations to see how they appeared and if there is any possible connection between them and the biblical saying in the Book of Revelation.
1. European Union
The most controversial of them all, and probably the most successful of them all is the European Union, a union of most of the states in Western Europe, to which many other nations from the East adhered, attracted by the economic conditions in it.
By the Treaty of Lisbon, European Union, which was established at the end of the WWII, practically became a state in its own right, though many people in Europe oppose the idea.
The lack of transparency, the planning of every aspect of human live, and a strict control, not to mention a bureaucracy that is already an upper crust appointed in strange ways and living in these times of dire world crisis like kings – all these are reasons for many people in Europe not to like this union, even though somehow it corresponds to their desire to be united and to travel freely across the continent, and to be equal all over the jurisdiction of the EU.
European Union is the most advanced such project, and if it survives the economic crisis it could become even larger, engulfing the West Balkan region of the continent.
If one asks the people living within the confines of this union what will happen next no one can say that for sure. What is the future of the union, even admitting that it will survive? Will it become the next United States? Like the United States of America? There is a very profound difference between the U.S.A. and the E.U. when it comes to understanding democracy. European Union resembles more the former Soviet Union than the one across the ocean.
2. Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean was a project of the countries around the basin of the Mediterranean Sea, intended to foster commerce, and other forms of cooperation.
The Union includes members of the European Union and of the North Africa, not to mention Turkey, Israel and other nations in the region.
Its goals are to promote peace in the region, stability and prosperity, and it is based on the so called Barcelona process.
The creation of this Union was a goal in Sarkozy’s presidential campaign, and the Union seems some sort of buffer, or a territory where both European Union and African Union could meet within a new continental body, which in Sarkozy’s mind, should be created in the likeness of the European Union and should have similar institutions.
To show that this organization is as serious as the two bigger sisters, Sarkozy recommended Turkey to adhere to this union rather than to the European one.
The union was strongly supported by Israel and Egypt (the then regime in Cairo), but was opposed by Turkey, who at first refused to cooperate with it.
The union is expected to deal with politics and security, economics and trade, socio cultural, justice and interior, de-pollution and maritime and land highways matters, which would make it a state in its own right.
Though the project was scaled down because of the opposition to it of many countries which did not understand its usefulness, the Mediterranean Union exists and will probably continue to do so.
3. African Union
Comprises 54 nations in the entire continent of Africa, has a Pan-African Parliament with 265 elected representatives, and a headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, an Assembly of the African Union, a government-like organization called the Africa Union Authority, an African Court of Justice, a Peace and Security Council, an executive council and many other institutions.
The most important topic on the agenda is the creation of a Union Government, and the ways to deal with the eight regional economic communities that exist now in Africa, one of which, the Arab Maghreb Union, is shared with the Europeans in the Mediterranean Union.
African Union has the first member state that quit the organization, Morocco, and has as official languages Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and African languages, “if possible.”
Though its institutions seem far more integrated and advanced than those of EU, and the commitment to the project seems much higher in the poorest part of the world, the African idiosyncracies make it be more of a dream than a reality.
4. Russian Federation/ CIS
Russian Federation and the former republics of the Soviet Union are another federal form of organizing the population in this part of the world.
The Russian Federation has 150 million people of 100 ethnic backgrounds, and is the most important state in an organization that was intended as a collective body after the demise of the Soviet state.
Commonwealth of Independent States is a reunion of states with a common past within the Soviet Union. Apart from the Baltic states and Georgia, all the other former conponents of the Soviet Union can be found there.
The CIS is not a very functional body, but the fact that these states remain in the sphere of influence of Kremlin shows that this body could one day take the form of other unions.
5. Central Asian Union
Proposed by the president of Kazakhstan, Nusultan Nazarbaev, CAU reunites Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The Union was sealed by an “eternal friendship treaty,” which is ready to promote the creation of intergovernmental institutions.
The countries that signed the treaty are also part of CIS, and the mentality of the entire region and the divergent interests related to oil industry make them be at the beginning of their enterprise.
6. East Asian Union
A cooperation between China, Japan, and South Korea was proposed by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who said that the need for integration is pressing.
If the union is created, though at the present time there are things standing in the way of it, East Asian Union could become the most important economic structure of the world.
The idea was also advocated by Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s Prime Minister in 2009, but the Chinese authorities rejected it for reasons that are easy to imagine.
China, Japan and Korea share a very painful modern history, but that should not be a problem, considering that other nations, in Europe for instance, had similar experiences and are now members in the same continental union.
7. South Asian Union
The South Asian Union is said to be an idea to create an Union like the European Union that would include all the south Asian states. The Union would comprise also the nations that are actually included in the ASEAN, the Association of the South East Asian Nations.
8. Pacific Union
Is a project proposed by the Pacific Forum and advocated by Australia. The project would comprise Australia and the Pacific islands, and would have common institutions and currency.
9. North American Union
It is an union created between Canada, the United States and Mexico, and has the same institutions and development as the European counterpart, with the only peculiarity that those who foster it keep it secret from their people, for some reasons.
10. Union of South American Nations
The common body that unites the entire South America is made in the image of the European Union, and is institutionally very far advanced. It also benefits the fact that the constituents are mainly nations with a common cultural background, and similar languages (with Spanish and Portuguese as dominating languages).
These are the ten continental bodies that respond to the “need for integration” (no one ever explained whose is this need) and are made on the model of the European Union.
Of course, it would not come as a surprise that the people of Europe are once again trend setters for the entire world. Still, isn’t it a little too convenient that the entire world feels a need for integration when, at the same time, people fight for national identity (there are reports that say that Africa needs a new arrangement of the borders between states, that would be more suitable to the ethnic grounds of each nation)?
Is this world administrative reorganizing a way to promote globalization or a fulfillment of a biblical prophecy? Time will only tell.11