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The Economy - Holding on for Dear Life
The collapsing world economy could reshape Europe.
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February 26, 2009 - Audio, 8.00 MIN
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Welcome to the Bible in the News, this is David Billington with you for the February 26th edtion. The troubled economy is beginning to effect all of us in different ways. You probably know several people that have lost their jobs - maybe you have yourself. This weeks Time magazine cover shows a person's hands grasping a rope which is frayed and soon will certainly snap. The heading reads, "Holding on for dear life". Many people no doubt feel this way and nerves are frayed just like the rope in the picture. The rope could also depict the uncertain riches the people have pinned their hopes upon. Consider 1 Timothy 6:17:
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."

These times certainly aren't easy and it can be very trying to be out of work. The writer to the Hebrews gives us great comfort when he writes in chapter 6 how we may have a "strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."

Our Hope is a rock solid hope, sure and steadfast unlike the uncertainties of that which the world has to offer. The lifeline to our anchor will not fray or break. Our forerunner has entered into immortality and through the eye of faith we can see him in our city of refuge - in Zion, the city of the great king - a city of refuge where the high priest will never die, but a high tower which we can run to and be eternally safe. Through the eye of faith we focus on Zion, overlooking the things that are seen and steadfastly gazing on "...the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18)

Things in our world today are in a state of flux. It is in times of crisis such as these, when things can change very quickly. The economist this week focused on Europe as a continent which could be on the brink of change due to the economic crisis. The subhead to the article entitled, "The bill that could break Europe", the Economist raises the possibility that: "If eastern Europe goes down, it may take the European Union with it". Europe is stuck in a bit of a jam, if venerable Eastern European countries start going under or defaulting on loans to Western European banks, footing the bill will be very unpopular with western Europeans. On the other hand if Europe does nothing and cuts them loose Russia may be only too happy to reassert itself in Eastern Europe. From our understanding of Bible prophecy we do not expect Europe to become fractured once again. but we do expect Britain to stay outside and Russia to come in. As this economic earthquake shakes Europe, events could produce the image of the latter days depicted in the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2.

The vision of Daniel 2 showed, "...the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." (Dan. 2:28) The image with its iron Roman legs, founded upon the clay and Roman iron base of modern Europe is controlled by a Babylonish head. This is the Empire of men in the last days, on the verge of its destruction, controlled by the religion of Babylon. Listen as the prophet Daniel describes this image to the King: "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible." This kingdom will be terrible when it stands upon the earth. It will also be great and prosperous.

In Revelation 17 it describes the destruction of the head of this system. In Revelation 17 the Babylonish head is depicted as an unfaithful woman. Upon her head are the words: "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." She sits upon the Roman Beast and upon the seven hilled city of Rome. In Revelation the faithful followers of Christ are depicted as faithful, pure women. Their minds have not been corrupted with the myths of the Catholic Church or her daughter churches. Revelation 17:18 tells us that the woman is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. The harlot and the great city are both symbols for the same thing, showing different aspects of it.

Revelation 18 describes the city at the moment of its destruction. The context of Revelation 18 is events that take place after Revelation 17: "And after these things I saw...". When the angel comes the earth is lightened with his glory. The setting of the chapter is after the return of Christ when the earth is already beginning to be lightened with the knowledge of the glory of God. The saints are illuminating society.This will ultimately destroy the dynasty of the man of sin, who fell away and corrupted the truth:

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" (2 Thes. 2:8)

At that time The Great City will be an immensely prosperous city, with great riches. Today the Vatican is a very rich organization, investing in stocks, corporations and holding tremendous assets. However, when we read Revelation 18, we get the sense that it will be even more so, on the eve of its destruction. Yet, she will still be trading in the merchandise of the church - the souls of men - Revelation 18:13. The economic troubles of today are nothing compared to what it will be like at that time. In one apocalyptic hour all the riches described in Revelation 18 will come to nought. "Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

The troubling economic times Europe is currently going through, could cause enormous changes on the continent. The future relations of Britain and Russia to Europe will no doubt be changed from what we see today.

One of the characters on the cover of the Economist is the British prime minister checking his empty purse to see if anything can be done. How this crisis may effect Britain's relations with Europe could be quite interesting. Britain could be affected in quite a different way to the rest of Europe, as they have not adopted the Euro as their currency. Could this crisis further deepen the rift between Britain and the continent? It will be very interesting to see how things develop.

Come back next week God willing to, as we watch events unfold and look for the King of Israel to be established in Zion.

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in the light of Bible prophecy — the Bible in the News!