Updated and Revised December, 2017

The 21st century popes speak peace; but the Church of Rome has had her own armies which fought her wars right up to the latter part of the 19th century, and sometimes she has relied on secular powers for her military campaigns (Ref. Popes, Cardinals and War, a book no longer online; but cf. Popes, Cardinals and War: The Military Church in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe (review.) This papal militarism was predicted in Dan. 11:38a.

There has been much speculative interpretation of this prophecy and the term "god of forces"/"god of fortresses." Almost uniformly, Bible commentaries identify "the King" of Dan. 11:36-39 as Antiochus Epiphanes, at least in part; but this defies logic. It is clear that the prophecies concerning "the King" extend far beyond the time of this character in history, and it is not reasonable to apply them to more than one person or entity. Barnes' Notes on the Old Testament illustrates the problem, and at the same time provides a detailed and convincing analysis of the term(s) "god of forces"/"god of fortresses":

But in his estate - The marginal reading here is, “As for the Almighty God, in his seat he shall honor, yea, he shall honor a god,” etc. The more correct rendering, however, is that in the text, and the reference is to some god which he would honor, or for which he would show respect. The rendering proposed by Lengerke is the true rendering, “But the god of forces (firm places, fastnesses - der Vesten) he shall honor in their foundation” (auf seinem Gestelle). The Vulgate renders this, “But the god Maozim shall he honor in his place.” So also the Greek. The phrase “in his estate” - על־כנו 'al -kanô - means, properly, “upon his base,” or foundation. It occurs in Daniel 11:20-21, where it is applied to a monarch who would succeed another - occupying the same place, or the same seat or throne. See the notes at Daniel 11:2. Here it seems to mean that he would honor the god referred to in the place which he occupied, or, as it were, on his own throne, or in his own temple. The margin is, “or stead;” but the idea is not that he would honor this god instead of another, but that he would do it in his own place. If, however, as Gesenius and De Wette suppose, the sense is, “in his place, or stead,” the correct interpretation is, that he would honor this “god of forces,” in the stead of honoring the god of his fathers, or any other god. The general idea is clear, that he would show disrespect or contempt for all other gods, and pay his devotions to this god alone.

Shall he honor - Pay respect to; worship; obey. This would be his god. He would show no respect to the god of his fathers, nor to any of the idols usually worshipped, but would honor this god exclusively.

The God of forces - Margin, Mauzzim, or gods protectors; or, munitions. Hebrew, מעזים mâ‛uzym Latin Vulgate, Maozim; Greek, Μαωξεὶμ Maōxeim Syriac, “the strong God;” Luther, Mausim; Lengerke, der Vesten- fastnesses, fortresses. The Hebrew word מעוז mâ‛ôz means, properly, a strong or fortified place, a fortress; and Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes that the reference here is to “the god of fortresses, a deity of the Syrians obtruded upon the Jews, perhaps Mars.” So also Grotius, C. B. Michaelis, Staudlin, Bertholdt, and Winer. Dereser, Havernick, and Lengerke explain it as referring to the Jupiter Capitolinus that Antiochus had learned to worship by his long residence in Rome, and whose worship he transferred to his own country. There has been no little speculation as to the meaning of this passage, and as to the god here referred to; but it would seem that the general idea is plain.

It is, that the only god which he would acknowledge would be force, or power, or dominion. He would set at nought the worship of the god of his fathers, and all the usual obligations and restraints of religion; he would discard and despise all the pleadings of humanity and kindness, as if they were the weaknesses of women, and he would depend solely on force. He would, as it were, adore only the “god of force,” and carry his purposes, not by right, or by the claims of religion, but by arms. The meaning is not, I apprehend, that he would formally set up this “god of forces,” and adore him, but that this would be, in fact, the only god that he would practically acknowledge. In selecting such a god as would properly represent his feelings he would choose such an one as would denote force or dominion. Such a god would be the god of war, or the Roman Jupiter, who, as being supreme, and ruling the world by his mere power, would be a fit representative of the prevailing purpose of the monarch.

The general sentiment is, that all obligations of religion, and justice, and compassion, would be disregarded, and he would carry his purposes by mere power, with the idea, perhaps, included, as seems to be implied in the remainder of the verse, that he would set up and adore such a foreign god as would be a suitable representation of this purpose. It is hardly necessary to say that this was eminently true of Antiochus Epiphanes; and it may be equally said to be true of all the great heroes and conquerors of the world. Mars, the god of war, was thus adored openly in ancient times, and the devotion of heroes and conquerors to that idol god, though less open and formal, has not been less real by the heroes and conquerors of modern times; and, as we say now of an avaricious or covetous man that he is a worshipper of mammon, though he in fact formally worships no god, and has no altar, so it might be affirmed of Antiochus, and may be of heroes and conquerors in general, that the only god that is honored is the god of war, of power, of force; and that setting at nought all the obligations of religion, and of worship of the true God, they pay their devotions to this god alone.

Next to mammon, the god that is most adored in this world is the “god of force” - this Mauzzim that Antiochus so faithfully served. In illustration of the fact that seems here to be implied, that he would introduce such a god as would be a fit representative of this purpose of his life, it may be remarked that, when in Rome, where Antiochus spent his early years, he had learned to worship the Jupiter of the Capitol, and that he endeavored to introduce the worship of that foreign god into Syria. Of this fact there can be no doubt. It was one of the characteristics of Antiochus that he imitated the manners and customs of the Romans to a ridiculous extent (Diod. Sic. Frag, xxvi. 65); and it was a fact that he sent rich gifts to Rome in honor of the Jupiter worshipped there (Livy, lxii. 6), and that he purposed to erect a magnificent temple in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus in Antioch - Livy, xli. 20.

This temple, however, was not completed. It will be remembered, also, that he caused an altar to Jupiter to be erected over the altar of burnt-sacrifice in Jerusalem. It should be added, that they who apply this to Anti-christ, or the Pope, refer it to idol or image worship. Elliott (Apocalypse, iv. 153) supposes that it relates to the homage paid to the saints and martyrs under the Papacy, and says that an appellation answering to the word Mahuzzim was actually given to the departed martyrs and saints under the Papal apostasy. Thus he remarks: “As to what is said of the willful king‘s honoring the god Mahuzzim (a god whom his fathers knew not) in place of his ancestors‘ god, and the true God, it seems to me to have been well and consistently explained, by a reference to those saints, and their relics and images, which the apostasy from its first development regarded and worshipped as the Mahuzzim, or fortresses of the places where they were deposited.” - Apoc. iv. 157. But all this appears forced and unnatural; and if it be not supposed that it was designed to refer to Antichrist or the Papacy, no application of the language can be found so obvious and appropriate as that which supposes that it refers to Antiochus, and to his reliance on force rather than on justice and right.

In fact valid biblical exegesis has identified "the King" of Dan. 11:36-39 as the papacy (Report on the Eleventh Chapter of Daniel,) and the "King of the South" as Egypt (Identifying the King of the North and the King of the South.) With these basic facts of sound prophetic interpretation in mind, it is obvious that the papacy can neither conceivably muster her own army to wage war against Egypt, nor against Iran, Syria, or any of the other contemporary nations that are located in the former territory of the "King of the North" (Seleucid Empire.) So what secular power(s) can she manipulate to pursue her military campaign(s)? [The following italicized passages cannot now be verified from the hyperlinks. The European Institute for Protestant Studies website is no longer on the internet.] In the year 2000, the European Institute for Protestant Studies warned that Rome wanted a European Union army for that purpose. The Popes at War and the Fall of the Papal States:

The Roman Catholic dominated European Union desires more than economic control of member states. It seeks military control.

The main plank of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is that the EU should be able to act with ‘determination and cohesion’. At the heart of this strategy is a European Army with the ability to act independently of NATO and unfettered by the vetoes of individual EU member states.

This arrangement was proposed in the French Pleven plan when NATO was founded. The Treaty of Amsterdam made it possible on the 2nd October, 1997. The Italians were among its strongest protagonists.

Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, is a lawyer with a degree cum laude from the Catholic University of Milan. He was born in what was formerly the Papal States. Prodi has called the proposals ‘logical’. . .

When NATO was first proposed, Pius XII (Hitler's Pope) had to be wooed with great care to prevent him launching a Roman Catholic campaign against Protestant, Anglo-Saxon America and Britain whom he feared would have military power in Romanist heartlands. For centuries the Popes had their own army, often supplemented with men drawn from sympathetic countries in Europe. All Protestants should therefore be greatly concerned at the creation of a European army over whose activities the Vatican could exert influence.

Mr. Tony Blair cannot or will not appreciate the dangerous, defective reasoning, which calls for a European Army. William Hague unmasked it in his speech entitled No to a Federal Europe delivered on the 13th May, 1999. Hague, speaking at Budapest, in the heartland of the old RC Austro-Hungarian Empire, said, ‘The plan for a common European defence is sheer dogma. It does not begin with any assessment of the security needs of the European allies. Instead, it takes as its starting point the idea that, if Europe is truly to be united, then it must have its own courts, frontiers, flag, anthem and currency.’

The story of the army of the Papal States in the last century, and the conduct of Pius IX in his desperate struggle to retain the temporal power of the papacy and to prevent Italian unification, has a chilling relevance to today. Statesmen like Cavour and brave soldiers like Garibaldi were excommunicated and consigned to eternal damnation simply on account of their patriotism. The new King Victor Emmanuel II and his subjects were similarly treated. The decree Non expedit of 29th February 1868 forbade Roman Catholics to take any part in the political life of the new state. . .

Two years earlier the same organization had sponsored a lecture which explained how a call by Sir Winston Churchill for the establishment of a United States of Europe "was in a sense hijacked by the Vatican." The Conspiracy Behind The European Union: What Every Christian Should Know:

In 1946 Sir Winston Churchill delivered his famous Zurich speech calling for the establishment of a United States of Europe. He envisaged a Western Europe of independent, free and sovereign States that would rise from the ashes of World War II and reach for a destiny of unprecedented harmony and democracy. Neutral Switzerland, with its centuries-old harmonious co-existence of four languages and cultures, was to be the blueprint for a multilingual and multicultural Europe which would never again see maniac dictators and supra-national demagogues bent on imposing their will on member nations.

Initially, Churchill's vision seemed to be advancing according to plan. Former fascist Germany and Italy decentralised power and became parliamentary democracies. Fascism became discredited throughout Europe.

Then, however, events took a different turn. The Schuman plan of 1950 proposed the supra-national pooling of the French and German coal and steel industries as a means of forging European economic unity. The two economies were interwoven to such an extent that war between these traditional enemies became virtually impossible.

The EEC, established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, brought Italy and the three Benelux countries into the union but represented a further step towards a pan-European economy by tying economic development to the city of Rome. Significantly, this Treaty also gave Europe a sense of supra-national religious unity and the Roman Catholic Church its protection against the then still existent threat of Communism.

At this stage in the Community's development Churchill's vision of a free Europe of sovereign States was in a sense hijacked by the Vatican. The public was not told everything, but startling facts emerge from the great mass of papal encyclicals and pronouncements of those years. I shall mention some of them later. The religious aspect of the European idea had at that time not yet emerged to the public view (nor is it yet overtly apparent). It was still to be concealed in the background while the emphasis remained on achieving political unity in economic disguise. Indeed, the Vatican's post-War diplomatic peace efforts were not particularly apparent to many: the eyes of the general public were too closely focused on space exploration, the rearmament contest, Berlin and the Viet Nam War to recognise the true significance of the Vatican's crusade.

1962 was the year of the Common Agricultural Policy resulting in a single European market with price fixing – a further step towards uniformity. In that year the Northwest Technocrat recognised the EEC as already much more than simply an economically united Europe and commented:

Fascism in Europe is about to be reborn in respectable business attire, and the Treaty of Rome will finally be implemented to its fullest extent. The dream of a Holy Roman Empire returning to power to dominate and direct the so-called forces of Christian mankind of the Western world is not dead, but still stalks through the antechambers of every national capital of continental Western Europe, in the determination of the leaders in the Common Market to restore the Holy Roman Empire with all that that means!

Subsequent Vatican pronouncements and developments in the Community vindicate that view. Pope John XXIII envisaged a European religio-political monster which he called "the Greatest [Roman] Catholic superstate the world has ever known". (The Papal Nuncio in Brussels was later to describe the EU as "a [Roman] Catholic confederation of States".) United within the ancient boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire by the common spiritual bond of religion, in a burgeoning and booming industrial economy, situated geographically in the world's most productive industrial complex, it would march onto the scene of world history – so said John XXIII – as "the greatest single human force ever seen by man". . .

The entire lecture is profitable reading, especially as it exposes the objective of Romanizing Great Britain. The process was well advanced by the year 2011. Still Here: The Case of British Catholics:

When the Jesuit John Carroll was appointed the first bishop of the United States in 1790, he had to go to England to be consecrated by another bishop. But there were no public Catholic churches in England, so Bishop Charles Walmesley performed the ceremony privately in the chapel of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. The poet Alexander Pope, who as a recusant Catholic was barred at the time from living in London, was probably among those present.

But that was then. English Catholics have since become woven into the fabric of British society. Two popes have visited Britain to a warm welcome—Pope John Paul II in 1982, and Pope Benedict XVI last September. An Anglican prime minister (Tony Blair) converted to Catholicism—although he waited until he had resigned to make the switch, so a Catholic has yet to occupy 10 Downing Street.

And in January, three Anglican bishops, unhappy with the introduction of women clergy and other changes in their own church, said they planned to take up the Catholic Church’s recent invitation to become Roman clergy. The 4.2 million-strong Catholic minority in England and Wales (eight percent of the population) is both more active and more resilient than in most European countries.

In an age of secularization, one million Catholics (according to recent surveys) say they are regular churchgoers; so that while priests in such predominantly Catholic countries as Spain and Italy celebrate Mass on Sundays in near empty churches, this is not the case in Catholic Britain.

By contrast, the Church of England, a.k.a. the Anglican Church, with its twenty-five million baptized members, is in slow but definite decline. . .

The conspiracy behind the European Union is further confirmed by the naked support of the British Roman Catholic Bishops for the Union itself, and their opposition to the exit of the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, they favor the movement of immigrants into the United Kingdom, a large proportion of whom are Polish Catholics, and their opposition to Britain exiting. Will Catholic bishops try to scare their flocks into voting against Brexit?:

On both sides of the border [England and Scotland,] the hierarchies are likely to focus on immigrants. Catholic bishops and priests believe that the more migrants we welcome, the better. This view may be based on their reading of the Gospels; at the same time, they’re also well aware that immigrants are propping up their parishes. For their part, immigrants see the clergy as their natural champions – and, come the EU referendum, could respond favourably to a little nudging from the pulpit.

The Church of Rome is relentless in its goals, which may lie dormant for long periods of time, but are certain to resurface at a convenient time. That of creating a European army did so in early 2015. Jean-Claude Juncker calls for EU army:

The European Union needs its own army to help address the problem that it is not “taken entirely seriously” as an international force, the president of the European commission has said.

Jean-Claude Juncker said such a move would help the EU to persuade Russia that it was serious about defending its values in the face of the threat posed by Moscow.

However, his proposal was immediately rejected by the British government, which said that there was “no prospect” of the UK agreeing to the creation of an EU army.

“You would not create a European army to use it immediately,” Juncker told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in Germany in an interview published on Sunday.

“But a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.”

Juncker, who has been a longstanding advocate of an EU army, said getting member states to combine militarily would make spending more efficient and would encourage further European integration.

“Such an army would help us design a common foreign and security policy,” the former prime minister of Luxembourg said. . .

In early 2016 the proposal for an EU army was gathering strength. The pretext of a defense against Russia, expressed by Juncker, was reinforced by the threat of ISIS; but he was not shy about urging an EU army to encourage "further European integration." Not surprisingly, Roman Catholic convert Tony Blair was also arguing the necessity of a European army. Tony Blair: Britain must join EU army, fend off ‘backward-looking’ Euroskeptics:

Britain should be part of the proposed EU army and stay in the union despite the efforts of “backwards-looking” Euroskeptics to withdraw, controversial former PM Tony Blair claims.

Writing in Newsweek magazine, Blair said there has never been a stronger need for European unity, on defense and elsewhere, and that the EU must bind together and ignore those who are “forever looking backward to break the union asunder.” . . .

“I would argue that in the medium term, there will be a growing requirement for Europe to build defense capability.

“That force would not supplant NATO but would have the independent ability to take military action at times when Europe’s security interests are threatened when the US may decide not to be involved,” he said. (Original italics.)

(Cf. Tony Blair insists Europe needs MORE integration and revives calls for a European army as the only way to confront the terror threat from ISIS.)

From another report it is clear that the proponents of an EU army are deadly serious, and are taking concrete steps to accomplish its creation. Also clear is the central control that will be exerted over the military force, and the powerful role to be played by Germany (EU Army Plans Allow German Soldiers To Take Control Of Borders Without Consent Of National Governments):

A European Army is now one step closer to becoming a reality, just over 18 months since Britain’s former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg branded warnings that the EU was aiming for such expansionism a “dangerous fantasy.”

Mr. Clegg, among others, have gone quiet with his usual derisory treatment of the EU army warnings in the last few months, as top EU policymakers have elaborated upon their ideas for a pan-European Border and Coast Guard.

Now it looks like the plans are not just formalising, but going further than anyone thought possible, with documents outlining what an EU army would look like, including the ability to take control of national borders without the consent of the government of the nation in question.

In theory, this would mean that EU army members could seize border controls, or lack thereof, from countries like the United Kingdom without the permission of the country’s leaders or elected representatives.

According to the Times, the proposals for a 2,500-strong border and coast guard force could see armed personnel first deployed to areas like Greece or the Balkans.

The paper likens the idea of primarily German soldiers seizing power across Europe to the Second World War. Bruno Waterfield and Francis Elliott report: “The force, wearing blue armbands and an EU and agency insignia, would be equipped with naval patrol vessels, helicopters and drones, according to plans tabled yesterday by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president”. . .

In November, 2017, the union of European nations has moved even closer to an EU Army:-

Official DAWN OF EU ARMY: Brussels signs off military plan & hails historic day without UK:

BRUSSELS has moved even closer to an EU Army after 23 state signed off on a key military agreement today - a move a high-ranking eurocrat hailed as a "historic day".

Germany and France are leading the charge for a new defence union, which aims to cement EU unity after Brexit.

The campaign for a European defence union stretches back to the 1950s, although the movement has stuttered in the decades since.

But EU officials are now celebrating as progress accelerates with the support of Brussels chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker, Guy Verhofstadt and Michel Barnier.

One unnamed official quoted by Reuters news agency said today: “We've never come this far before. We are in a new situation.”

EU foreign and defence ministers signed the new pact at around 10.30am GMT. EU leaders will then officially back it next month to make it EU law.

Federica Mogherini emphasised the importance of today’s agreement this morning.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security said: “It’s going to be quite a historic day today for European defence." . . .

It is just the latest step in the march towards an all-out EU army, with a military headquarters already approved and proposals to purchase military equipment being considered.

Long blocked by Britain, which feared the creation of an EU army, defence integration was revived by France and Germany after last June's Brexit vote. . .  

It does not require much imagination to visualize the consequences of ultimate control over an EU army being exercised by Rome. The reality is that Europe is being brought into line with papal ambitions and objectives, as is also the United States of America. Long before the European Union was created, the Church of Rome had set about making America Catholic by the activism of its legions of Jesuits and lay Catholics. The activism expected of lay Catholics is described in Catholic Action and Magisterium Summons Church to Action. "Catholic Action" is an article originally published in 1980 (a very significant date,) and republished over twenty years later. A passage from "Magisterium Summons Church to Action" reveals a militancy which often leads to violence, and even murder:

“The Christian who does honor to his name is always an apostle; it is not fitting for the soldier of Christ to abandon the combat, for death alone puts an end to his service;”
“Besides, as it is a question of a sect which has invaded all domains, it is not enough to remain on the defensive. Catholics must descend courageously into the arena and combat it face to face. This you shall do, dear sons, by opposing publications to publications, schools to schools, associations to associations, congresses to congresses, action to action…” [The USCCB's Pastoral Plan bears full responsibility for "pro-life" violence and murder

The process of making America Catholic can be traced all the way back to the papacy of Leo XIII. By the early 1990s the Vatican had taken over the Republican Party. The hold over the American Nation was dramatically demonstrated when Pope Francis visited the United States in September, 2015. Significantly, as long ago as 1968 Eugene V. Rostow, then an Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, stated in a speech to a conference on "The Vatican and Peace" at Boston College, Massachusetts:

In the recognition of the need for a stable world order, and for development as the necessary means of assuring this stability, the policy of the Vatican, and the foreign policy of the United States since the days of Point Four and the Marshall Plan, are ONE. (THE ROLE OF THE VATICAN IN THE MODERN WORLD.)

It can reasonably be concluded that the papacy is as likely to turn to the United States as to the European Union as an instrument of papal militarism, which is apparently being revived on a scale never before seen in this world. This conclusion is buttressed by the prophetic role of the United States in Rev. 13. It is probable that both the EU and the United States may be allied to fight Rome's war(s) in the final movements of earth's history. From this perspective the clear fulfillment of Dan. 11:40-44 is still future as is that of verse 45. However, Luke 21:24 was fulfilled over thirty-five years ago (with one generation from that fulfillment defined as the span of time within which Jesus Christ will return.) Therefore, the unfolding of events in the Middle East demands intense watchfulness. The Middle East has been in constant turmoil for years. The cluster of prophecies in Dan. 11:40-45 can be fulfilled completely within a very short space of time, and it is predicted that "the final movements [in our world] will be rapid ones." 9T, p. 11 The sands of time must surely be fast running out!