KEYWORDS: russia, world, scenes, maria, war, countries

Take Your Choice

David Berg

—More on Endtime Events!DO 258411/89

1. I've learned something from the different prophetic teachers who've declared that the Pope was the Antichrist or Hitler was the Antichrist or Mussolini was the Antichrist! I've learned to be very cautious & careful about predicting things! I'll never forget what Pastor Smith of the huge Toronto Tabernacle said one time, this great prophetic teacher who wrote lots of books on Bible Prophecy. He said, "I wish I had never written some of those books!"—Because what he said in them didn't come true.

2. Well, the only Letter that I almost wish I had never written was that "40 Days" Prophecy! (ML#280). But in the long run, it had such good fruit that I really can't say that I wish I hadn't written it! That was kind of a "Jonah" experience for me‚ to predict something that was so specific & then it didn't happen! Therefore I've been very cautious about predicting things unless they are strictly according to the Bible. There are certain things that are so specific you cannot deny it, but when it comes to some other things, it's a matter of interpretation.

3. (Maria: Well, in the talk you gave the other day, "The Last Seven Years!" (ML#2568), you were quite strong about the AC being revealed at the beginning of the Seven Years. But then yesterday you softened that in your summary ("More on the Last Seven Years!", ML#2571) & said there is a chance he may not be revealed until the beginning of the Tribulation & that we can take our choice!) Yes, I said possibly he was ruling from behind the scenes, & I've said that before. (Maria: Yes, in the Letter about Halley's Comet you said the Lord told you that the AC came in quietly.) (See "The Revelation of the Beast!", ML#2501.) Well, he has been coming in quietly.

4. (Maria: He doesn't have to be actually reigning to be working behind the scenes, does he? For example‚ Prince Charles of Great Britain isn't actually reigning yet, but he has considerable authority & influence in the kingdom & is at least working with the people who do have control.)

5. I think the revelation of the Antichrist is going to be rather sudden. I think his rise to power may be fairly slow, according to the Bible, but obviously he's fighting wars, etc.—In fact, it sounds like he's fighting this one particular war in Daniel before he makes the Covenant. So there's definitely a rise to power there.


6. It says in Daniel that the AC comes in peaceably, & it even says, "By peace he shall destroy many."—Dan.11:21,24; 8:25. In other words, he sort of sneaks into power. Well, in a sense that's been very true of Communism, that it has won many more states through propaganda than through war. How many wars has Russia fought to gain territory? Of course, they really fought bitterly in World War 2 & lost many many men. But then by the peace settlement at Potsdam & Yalta where Stalin stuck to his guns & refused to yield to anybody, Russia won more by the peace than it did by the war! Stalin talked them out of half of Europe!—Peaceably!

7. It's amazing that Roosevelt & Churchill & the Mad Hatter (Truman) would have yielded so much to him‚ but he just refused to settle any other way. He demanded it so they gave it—all of Eastern Europe! Imagine, even Poland! Britain had gone to war to save Poland from the monster Hitler‚ & then in the end‚ in the peace, they gave Poland to an even worse monster—Stalin! Think of it! It's almost inconceivable that they would have done such a thing!

8. The Allies won the war, but they definitely lost the peace in having to yield nearly half of Europe to Russia! Stalin was adamant, hard as a rock, vicious! (Maria: Like a prototype of the Antichrist?) Yes. There have been many dictators who were prototypes of the Antichrist.

9. The Allies were really already winning the war before Russia finally stepped in & helped them. Allied troops came all the way to Berlin. But because of that help, Stalin demanded his "pound of flesh"—the flesh of Europe—& the Allies lost the peace! Just think‚ they had to give Stalin not only Poland, for whom Britain had fought the war, but half of Germany & all of Eastern Europe!—Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria & Rumania! Yugoslavia remained independent & refused to be dictated to by Stalin. It claimed to be Communist, definitely, but they said they were going to be a neutral independent state. Russia tried to get them to join, but they wouldn't. So Tito was more pro-Western than he was pro-Russian.

10. But just think, the Allies lost all of those states!—Plus the White Russian states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania! The Western powers had been very proud of those three little countries, because at the end of World War 1 the Allies literally invaded Russia & saved those three states from the Communist Empire‚ & they were independent from World War 1 to World War 2. But during World War 2 while the Allies were busy with a little here & there, Russia just walked in & grabbed them! (Maria: Did they belong to Russia originally?) Yes, they were a part of the Czarist Empire, but they were more European than they were Russian.—Very European. They had been part of Russia, but were called White Russia, because they were not so Mongolian and Slavic as Eastern Russia.

11. Before World War 2 was even over, Stalin made the Allies promise that his prize for helping them in the war to defeat Hitler was to be all those countries! Let's see, now how many does that make? Poland, half of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria & Rumania. I'm visualising a map right now. (Maria: Where does Albania come in?) It has stubbornly stuck with hardline Stalinism & Maoism but they remain independent from either side. (Maria: Like Yugoslavia?)—Yes, but even more so. But those countries were already Communist, so they were simply allowed to remain Communist.—So you might as well say that they stuck with the Communists, & were certainly in the Communist camp.

12. So that's seven countries, & actually, you could include Azerbaijan & Armenia as well. These are all countries there were great controversies over, as to who was to be the dominant power, & they really more or less all fell to Russia. There were about ten countries of Eastern Europe that Stalin grabbed or allowed to remain independent‚ like Yugoslavia & Albania, as long as they were Communist. And there were some countries like the three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania—that were very anti-Communist & that the Allies had saved from Communism in World War 1, but Stalin just marched in & grabbed them completely against their will during World War 2!

13. You see‚ Roosevelt & Churchill were so scared of Russia then, that Russia was going to march in & take the rest of Europe, they were almost thankful they got as much as they did! Russia was the Superpower then that everybody was afraid of! The Allies were almost thankful to give Stalin the Eastern half of Europe so he wouldn't grab the Western half! So it was a very very unfair peace settlement. It actually was no peace settlement—it gave rise to more problems than ever before with Communist Russia grabbing all those states.

14. And when some of the countries tried to rebel—like both Czechoslovakia & Hungary who didn't want to become Communist—Russia rolled in the tanks anyhow, & that was it! Now because of Glasnost & Perestroika—& mostly Gorbachev—many of those countries are doing what they tried to do decades ago, but Russia sent in the tanks & crushed their rebellions. In the 1956 uprising‚ Hungary even pleaded to the United States to save them from Russia, but the U.S. was so scared of Russia they wouldn't do a thing! So the Russian tanks crushed the Hungarian & the Czech rebellions against Russia & really clamped down with Russian tanks & Russian soldiers & told them in no uncertain terms to stay put, & gave them tough, hard dictators who ruled them for many years.


15. So what's happening now is Russia is letting go of all those countries that it grabbed after World War 2 & permitting them to make their own choice! Now that Russia will not send in the tanks & Russian soldiers to back them up, these dictatorships of Eastern Europe, the so-called East Bloc, are crumbling! They had Russia's backing in the beginning, but now Russia's said, "We're not going to have anything to do with it‚ just let your people make their own choices!" And this is what you see happening right now, they're all deserting the Communist camp, & if they even still continue to call themselves Communists, it's in name only. It's a complete crumbling around the edges of the Russian Empire which had been using all of these little countries as buffer states & as sort of a wall between Russia & Western Europe.

16. (Maria: Gorbachev must have so much opposition!) Yes, but he must have so much help as well! And it's the help of God, I'm sure‚ that he ever got in power in the first place!—And that he ever managed to declare his Glasnost & Perestroika, & he's now insisting on liberating the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe! (Maria: Think of how furious his opposition must be when they see all this chaos!) Yes, well that's what I'm afraid of. I think they're sort of hanging back temporarily.

17. God is holding them back! It says in one place that, "He Who now letteth will let!"—2Th.2:7. It's almost like God is holding back the flood forces of the Evil Empire of the Antichrist to give these countries a chance‚ to see what decision they would make if they were allowed to make their own decisions. Well, nearly all of them are declaring their liberty & freedom from Russia, even from the Communist Empire‚ except these "hold-out" countries of Czechoslovakia & Rumania. Even Bulgaria is yielding now & has tossed out its old leader! (Editor: And since this Letter was given, Czechoslovakia too!)

18. It's almost a Europe-wide rebellion of these Communist fringe countries who are literally declaring their freedom from Russia, & some of them even from Communism! It's a bold, heartening, cheering, thrilling sight to see them doing it, such as was the Declaration of Independence of the Tiananmen Square students! Everybody was all excited about it‚ because here was something that was really defying the old hard-line Communist chiefs of China! But look what happened! The students were finally crushed by cruel, vicious, violent force! (Maria: If they crush these rebellions successfully now, beforehand, then they're taken care of & the AC doesn't have to worry about them any more.) Yes, & that's what I'm afraid is going to happen!

19. What would be easy for me to believe is that the Antichrist would take advantage of the situation & rise up & lead the old hard-line Communists who have been in control for 40-some years to crush these rebellions & take over! (Maria: And would that be part of his wars?) Yes. In Daniel, it says he comes in peaceably at first & makes the Covenant to settle all of this. He comes in to crush these rebellions & makes a Treaty, the Covenant, to settle it peaceably, if possible, which could in a sense be more or less a Covenant between East & West.

20. But then, of course, when the stubborn Jews, along with help from the U.S., as usual, stubbornly resist in some way, & really in a way they break the Covenant‚ he then breaks the Covenant because he doesn't like the way they're behaving, & invades Israel & takes over! According to Daniel, the U.S. apparently tries to help them, at which time he gets furious with the West & it looks like he might wipe out the U.S. with atom bombs! I don't think I see Europe necessarily burning, but in Revelation you certainly see the Great Whore, the U.S.‚ burning!

21. (Maria: We've said in the past that the Atomic War probably wouldn't happen until after the Rapture as part of the Wrath of God.) Yes, I've suggested several different interpretations. The 17th Chapter of Revelation describes the Whore, in the 18th Chapter she's destroyed, & then it describes Armageddon immediately afterward, so it could be interpreted that way, that perhaps it's a part of the Wrath of God. But it's definitely under the Antichrist.


22. When you get into those hazy details, that's where you get in trouble trying to be too dogmatic about things. But those steps that I outlined in that summary yesterday (ML #2571) are specific things which are hard facts & very specific in the Bible! They're numerical, they're mathematical, they're declared very specifically, & that is that the Covenant was made to last Seven Years between the Antichrist & whoever, obviously the West & the Jews, etc.‚ but then he breaks it in the middle of the Seven Years, at the end of 3-1/2 years.

23. I can hardly see how he would have so much power as to make a Covenant like that, obviously sort of a Worldwide Covenant, a specific Seven-Year Covenant, without being revealed! (Maria: But even today, we know there are people working behind the scenes who have an awful lot of power. There are some great financial tycoons that you hardly ever see or hear about that suddenly pop up, & all of a sudden there they are! They've had lots & lots of power & control behind the scenes, but the general public hasn't really known anything about them.)

24.Like the Rockefellers & the Rothschilds who have had a coalition on some things & are working behind the scenes. I don't doubt that they're working as a part of the Antichrist's forces who are preparing to reveal him. (Maria: So he might be there working with them.) Oh, undoubtedly he's working with them now in all of their conspiring & their plot behind the scenes to take over! (Maria: So he could have enough power even now, but has just not been revealed to the rest of the World?) Well, this is something I have suggested, that perhaps he is in a sense in power & his reign has already begun from behind the scenes.

25. There are basically two scenarios that I've suggested: Either he becomes well-known when he makes the Pact & is then revealed, or that he makes the Pact secretly & is already reigning from behind the scenes & is not revealed until his breaking of the Covenant, at which time he openly declares himself as king of the World, sets up his Image, demands worship & begins the Tribulation. There are two schools of thought on that as to whether he reveals himself at the beginning of his reign or at the midpoint of his reign, so take your choice!

26. The Tribulation definitely begins when he sets up his Image in the Holy Place. Jesus Himself said, "Then shall be Great Tribulation!"—Mat.24:15,21. So that is quite clear, that the Tribulation itself does not begin until he sets up his Image & demands worldwide worship & institutes the Mark of the Beast so that nobody can buy or sell without it!—Rev.13:15-17.—Which is definitely, specifically & very clearly one of the incontrovertible facts in the Scripture of when he begins the Tribulation!

27. According to some of the Scriptures in Daniel he comes in softly, or peaceably, & he's bound to be sneaking up on things right now since he hasn't yet been revealed. It's obvious that he is establishing his kingdom now from behind the scenes. So whether he can sneak in & make the Covenant secretly & rule for 3-1/2 years from behind the scenes without being revealed is a matter of question. Frankly, I don't see how he can possibly take over the World & rule & reign by the Covenant for a whole 3-1/2 years without somehow being revealed! (Maria: It seems more logical‚ like you say, that he would be revealed when he first signs the Covenant. The only thing against that is that World conditions are moving so fast & things are getting so bad, it just doesn't seem like there could be a whole Seven Years left!)

28. I don't doubt that in a sense he is operating & manipulating things from behind the scenes right now! That's obvious from the way the ACs are acting & the conquests they're making, throwing God & the Bible & prayer out of the public schools‚ & throwing Evolution in!—And the horrible crime & drug conditions. I don't doubt that he is even behind the drugs to try to destroy the youth of the once-Christian West. He's probably behind all the drugs, the crime, the whole works, & working within the Western countries to help destroy their morality & their youth & all. It's all part of the Devil's program! (Maria: And even laid out in the Protocols of Zion, their whole destructive program.) Yes! (See ML#1342, "The Program of the Antichrist!")

29. Oh‚ I don't doubt that he's alive & working behind the scenes right now & causing a lot of this, what he would call "progress" in destroying the moral forces & the Christian forces, etc., coming out more boldly against Christians all the time, trying to destroy outstanding Christian leaders, television evangelists, etc. I don't doubt that that's all a part of his work through his anti-Christ forces, especially the ACs. There's no doubt that he's already working behind the scenes, & that this is all dirtywork conspired by him & his forces to destroy the Christian forces & the Christian nations!

30. So he is definitely already working behind the scenes, that's for sure! Now if you can call that ruling & reigning under the Seven-Year Pact‚ then it was certainly a secret Pact, & if so, then we're in the first part of his reign! That is the question: How can he make such a Pact without it being revealed to the World & how could he be reigning for 3-1/2 years already from behind the scenes? But it's possible! Perhaps we will see it & hear it & it will be revealed to us‚ but he doesn't really reveal his true nature to the whole World until the Tribulation.

31. (Maria: Well, remember not too long ago they had that meeting attended by the major World leaders, former presidents & great financiers of the World, supposedly to decide what to do about the financial situation?) And they just had another Summit Meeting of all the leaders of Europe to know what to do about this present fall of Communism & this open Declaration of Independence by the former Communist states of Eastern Europe. So yes, there could be a possibility that the first half of his reign is secret, & it sure looks possible from World conditions & the horrors that are going on right now, & the victories of the anti-Christ forces, particularly the ACs over the Christians. (Maria: Things are moving so fast!)

32. So I still admit that there is the possibility that his reign has begun & that the Pact was declared secretly. That he's already running things from behind the scenes is pretty obvious, but it certainly is not apparent to the World, it's only apparent really to God's Children who see what's happening!—And, of course, to his conspirators who are conniving with him & working with him behind the scenes. This is why I brought up the possibility of the Scriptures being interpreted that way. It was hard for me to see that he could take over & run the World for 3-1/2 years without being revealed, but I'll admit, there is that possibility.

33. I studied Bible Prophecy for years. Some taught that he couldn't take over the World without being revealed; others taught that he takes over the World & runs the World from behind the scenes under the secret Pact & is not really revealed until he breaks the Covenant, comes out in the open & declares himself God & demands worship etc. And of course, as I've said of late, how could he openly rule the World unless the World got into such bad shape that they begged him to rule over them?—Which seemed to me would be precipitated by the Crash & the World being in such terrible economic condition & chaos that they would be willing to beg him to, in a sense, be their God.

34. Some of these Scriptures are vague enough that you could interpret it either way‚ so take your choice! Sort of like Halley's Comet—it came, but it came in softly. Instead of being the brilliant display everybody expected‚ it was even hard to find. You had to get up & look at certain times with binoculars to try to find it, & most of us never did see it! So from what the Lord said about coming in softly‚ the AC is definitely already here & running a lot of things from behind the scenes. It's quite evident from what you see on television & read in the newspapers that anti-Christ forces are virtually already ruling the World!

35. So take your choice!—And "Be Prepared!" (—And don't worry!—God will take care of you!)