Storybook folklore, along with pop culture fiction, have at times been forerunners in outlining many contemporary situations and
conditions now confronting modern-day mankind.  Fictional story-plots set forth in George Orwell's
1984 futuristic novel, clearly
foreshadow certain ominous influences evident at the beginning of the 21st C.  The Late Great Planet Earth (H. Lindsey, 1970)
prefigured significant events occurring today in the Persian Gulf, Israel, the Middle East region, Russia and within Islam.  In
these two 20th C. publications, and others, there is a dreadful nemesis and an oppressive governmental system that arise to
take total control during endtime-like conditions.  The 1984 fictional account comes out of the imaginings birthed in the mind of
the author while the Late Great Planet Earth scenarios come forth via interpretation of eschatological (prophetic endtime)
centered scripture.
As the rise of globalization towers over everyday life, powerful forces seem to be initiating new constellations of geopolitical
alliances, redefining financial power-centers and pitting religious persuasions against one another.  Globalization is not a
"unification" movement as such, rather a developing cooperative systemic among and between first and second world
countries/nations. What then is it going to take to coalesce all of these worldly factions into a cohesive whole?  Such a question
is not being openly asked as of yet. The globalizing of commerce, telecommunication systems, and financial/economic parities
are much too competitive and profit-driven, at the present, to be concerned with issues of centralized governance.  However,
such a perplexing question looms just over the near horizon.  The answer, will in all likelihood, come as a result to overriding
conflicts and chaos vs. a reasoned outworking for the greater good.
Now let us consider the poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin (by Robert Browning 1892), whose protagonist/antagonist
successfully delivers the township  of Hamelin from ... "Rats! They fought the dogs, and killed the cats, And bit the babies in the
cradles, And ate the cheeses out of the vats .. ."  The Piper presented himself to the town council as ... "I'm able, By means of a
secret charm, to draw All creatures living beneath the sun, That creep or swim or fly or run, After me so as you never saw! And I
chiefly use my charm On creatures that do people harm, The mole and toad and newt and viper; And people call me the Pied
Piper."   Once the Piper had accomplished his service to the township, he then made his demand for payment of a thousand
guilders of which the town council would only honor fifty guilders.  The citizens of Hamelin were so overjoyed to have someone
come and provide then with hope of relief and deliverance from the plague of Rats that they agreed to almost anything the Piper
proposed.  Yet, once free from their plague the governing body reneged on their previous commitment.  The Piper beguiled the
township, used witchcraft to accomplish his mission, and then punished them through his mystical charms (fluting) by seducing
the children of the township to follow him into a mountain stronghold, which closed behind them, never to be seen again.  He
also beguiled the children with false promises of healings, treasure and wonderments.
Without too much stretch of the imagination, we can see a foreshadowing of the biblical endtime anti-Christ personified in the
Pied Piper of Hamelin.  The anti-Christ will deceive many by his proclamations of Peace (a false Peace) and thus shall destroy
many. "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by
peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; ..."(Dan. 8:25).  In these two examples, the
seminal deceptions are the false promises of Peace and Hope, which cannot be fully realized through strictly secular means.
Some believe the coming anti-Christ will be likened unto a modern-day tyrant or conscienceless dictator having little regard for
human life, and will be only obsessed with his own power and authority. Such a characterization would aptly describe the
anti-Christ's modus operandi during the second half of the Tribulation Period (3½yrs.), yet we read in scripture that his entrance
onto the world stage will be manifestly different, as was the character of the Pied Piper (see Poem text below).  According to
scripture the anti-Christ will rise out of public obscurity, display proud flattering oratory, hold to communist-like ideals, wax
exceeding great, display a charisma-like presence, shall cause many to prosper, demonstrate both religious and political power
and destroy many by Peace.  Some reader's at this point might be thinking, we already know most of what is present above,
sans the Pied Piper parody, so what is the purpose of this commentary? Fair and timely question.
The anti-Christ will not, even with all of his demonically imbued powers, be able to easily contrive a worldwide coherence of
political, military, economic and religious factions without the cooperation, submission and compliance of world leader's and
their constituent granted authorities.  In scripture, the anti-Christ is not publicly revealed until the false Peace Agreement is
signed and confirmed (KJV) between the Palestinian factions and Israel ... and that ceremonial occasion may not be too far over
the just-near time-horizon.  Once revealed, the anti-Christ will overtly identify and seek-out those individuals and governmental
entities that will willingly enter into a confluence of world powers ultimately resulting in a unified geopolitical synergy (sum
greater than total of individual parts), a geocentric monetary system, NATO/UN-like military consortium, and a religious
ecumenism (Universal Religious Order).
As to the question posed above, "what type leaders would be so easily co-opted into such a geopolitical hegemony which, by
definition, will require relinquishment of much individual sovereignty?" Leaders which a) have a similar character disorder to that
of the anti-Christ, b) are seekers of uncompromising power, c) literally adhere to "the ends justify the means" form of
governance, d) are easily threatened by an enlarging global hegemony and/or e) those which have given themselves over to
demonic infestations prior to the anti-Christ's rise to power, will be prime candidates for early recruitment.
The present-day emerging ecumenical movement (assimilation among differing religions) is the first wave of global
"Universalism" now seen flickering in every society/culture, which has a choice of religious preference.  Roman Catholicism has
been the forerunner and continues today to be the driving religious force in promoting "unity" among "world religions" along with
the World Council of Churches.  Recent attempts to celebrate the similarities, and paper-over the critical doctrinal differences,
among Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican religions was met with less than resounding
success, but this is only round-one.  A worldwide religious consortium is identifiable in scripture overseen by the False Prophet
(third figure in a satanic trinity).  It does not take a rocket-surgeon to recognize present-day religious leaders who would willingly
amend their basic religious tenants in order to be included in a powerful global ecumenism.  There are symposia convening in
America today, which are attempting to "Re-Think" Christianity, even though the Jesus Seminar began such academic-like
diatribe in 1985. International financial markets are already an integrated systemic ... what moves in Tokyo and London markets
directly affect the NYSE, within a six-hour time window. Multinational military strongholds are not yet influenced by external
"oversight consortiums" e.g., NATO and the UN.  Once the first nuclear exchange occurs between blatantly antagonistic factions,
the global military paradigm will come under intense scrutiny, especially in the Middle East.  Thus, what remains is the
ever-present political set of conundrums.
America is more divisively divided along political, racial, social/rights, defense, and diplomacy issue-lines than it has been
since the late 1950's. Red states vs. Blue states, GOP vs. DNC, pro terrorist interventions vs. a welling protectionism,
federalism vs. centralization in government etc. What would it take to "unite" America, as it was in the late 1940's ... probably one
of two dynamics, or both. First dynamic might be a national disaster comparable to a 9-11
  event and/or a major threat from an
international rogue/terrorist enemy. Secondly, the rise of a charismatic political leader which transcends the normal separatism
of party politics and promises to deliver hope, government efficiencies, and a turnaround of America's negative image among
many world governments. America seems more than ready for a
pied piper type assuager, who is a new face in politics and
speaks to a broad cross section of America's ills and national gridlock.  A charmer who has grand oratory mixed with platitudes,
stands out from the crowd, and is adroit in using modern technologies to dispense his/her messages of personal fulfillment,
national reconciliation, and a broad rapid takeover for America. Early signs of such a Piper will be the proclamations that "it can
only get better from here on"! Scripture clearly foretells of deteriorating and weakening worldly conditions, in the latter-days, just
before Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on the Throne of David, in Jerusalem. Therefore, a Piper's rhetoric would begin
with a denial of things as they are along with sweeping and grandiose "fixes" for systemic deficiencies in our governmental
infrastructure and a progressive Utopian-like panorama of the near-future.
We read in Mat. 16:3, Christ's admonishment regarding the lack of discernment ... "You know how to interpret the appearance of
the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."  As America continues along its pathway of secularizing all aspects of
government and long standing social mores, progressively seeking a blended religious ecumenism, and does not understand
the true origin of the dynamics driving Islamic terrorism, then it might be confidently said, we do not understand the "signs of the
times".  When the town council in Hamelin (Pied Piper) had wearied themselves with the overwhelming plague of Rats, then the
stage was set and ready for a magical-charmer to come upon the scene and offer a melodic elixir to resolve their problem. We
read Christ's words of wisdom found in Matt. 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against it will be ruined, and every city or household
divided against it will not stand."  America is divided against itself, at times 49% to 51% in Congressional standoffs, immigration
issues, "rights" considerations and the near-future direction of this great Nation, to just name a few.
Short of a container-nuke being GPS-detonated in NY Harbor, America is ready for and seeking a charismatic-like Charmer to
trumpet great hope, far reaching promises to allay our fears and pacify our national unrest, as well as become a rallying point to
resolve our antagonistic political polarities. Now that is a tall order. Scripture reveals God places Kings on the throne and can
remove them as well. Further, He gives kingdoms the King they deserve! The next POTUS may very well not be what we want or
think we need, but what we deserve due to our waywardness from His precepts, commandments, and decrees.  We surely
must hope for the best, but plan for the worst. In the current political theater in America, we seem to be balancing on the hope
side of the equation with lesser attention paid to the consequence side.   Without a major national calamity, a tanked economy,
and/or escalating terror threats, America seems positioned to endure a most contentious race for the 2008-09 POTUS.
God help us all to make the righteous decisions in the selection of our next set of national leaders. Help us to clearly understand
the prophetic
signs of the times and make our choices accordingly. Powerful political entities are compassing this great nation
while we experience increasing turmoil from within, are struggling to hold onto our Judeo-Christian values and absolutes, as
secular forces erode away our foundation of "In God We Trust."  This is not a doomsday scenario, but rather a plea for
strengthening and judgment until our redemption draweth nigh, for we know not the day or the time of His coming.  As many Pied
Piper-like charmers are easing up to the world stage of near-coming events, let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem as we also
pray for the safety and re-sanctification of America. "Pipers" come heralding new (empty) hope, mystical deliverance from the
woes of the status-quo, and nirvana-type wonderments in a coming Never-Never-Land. There is no Never Land, yet we may be
just to "needy" to discern the "Truth".   Pipers offer peace and deliverance yet bring destruction and chaos. God help us to see
through a glass darkly and know Your mind and plans for the days to come (read Eph. 1:10).
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
Pied Piper Poem - Robt. Browning LINK