Built into the history and culture of Britain there is an almost instinctive rejection of European authority over the freedoms and institutions of the Island Race. Britain's separation from Europe has its roots in the religious divide that was brought about back in the days of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and it is expressed in the Thirty Nine articles of the Church of England which stated in 1571, "The bishop of Rome hath not jurisdiction in this realm of England." The nation that would not obey the decrees of the pope is the same as that which today will not submit to the rules and regulations of the European Union - which, incidentally, is a Roman Catholic project known as the Treaty of Rome, signed in 1957.
"The political earthquake that occurred in Britain last week has a religious dimension which many today
will be unaware of."
"There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days."
While giving us a picture of world history in advance the prophecy describes a vast empire that is to exist in the latter days. It is described by other prophets also, for example the great confederacy of Gog that we read about in Ezekiel 38. But in describing the latter-day image empire the writer, John Thomas, wrote in his book Elpis Israel (published in 1848),
"Britain is not included in the ten toes. She is reserved of God to antagonize Russia... The ten toes belong to the image as an united dominion, hence Britain cannot be included among them unless it is first conquered by the overshadowing power; which it will not be, as is clearly demonstrable from many parts of the divine testimony. Russia will command the land, and Britain rule the sea."
John Thomas based his remarks on the Bible of course. He pointed out that while Britain was not to be included in the ten European toes of the latter-day image, she would have a mission to fulfill in making a stand against Russia and the European confederacy while also protecting the Jewish nation of Israel. He wrote:
"I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and of promoting its colonization by the Jews; their present intentions, however, are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt... The decree has long since gone forth which calls upon the Lion of Tarshish to protect the Jews."
In order for Britain to fulfill that mission, it is necessary that she be separated from anti-Semitic Europe and the Roman Catholic influence. Consequently in exiting Europe she must form other trading alliances, and these are identified for us in Ezekiel 38:13 where we read of the opposition to the Russian Gog and his European "company."
"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?"
This describes a trading alliance, as can be seen from the New English Bible:
"Sheba and Dedan, the traders of Tarshish and her leading merchants, will say to you..."
Sheba and Dedan are ancient nations found in the Saudi Arabian peninsular. So on the basis of this prophecy we would expect to see that Britain, having separated from Europe would build - or should we say re-build - a relationship with certain Arabian countries as well as with her "young lions," or former colonial partners.
But in addition to the trading links that Britain is to establish with those countries, there is the important connection with the Royal Family and crown. It is relevant that we recall the words spoken at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. She was given a copy of the King James Bible while being told:
"We present you with this Book the most valuable thing this life affords... Here is Wisdom; This is the royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God."
She was then asked:
"Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the peoples of Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand... according to their respective laws and customs?"
To which she replied, "ALL THIS I PROMISE TO DO."
The Royal establishment is based upon the historic Act of Settlement of 1689, which has never been revoked, and which reads:
"Whereas it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a papist... Every person who is or shall be reconciled to, or shall have communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall marry a papist, shall be excluded and be for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the Crown or Government of this Realm and Ireland; and in every such case the people of these Realms shall be and are hereby released of their allegiance."
This separates between Britain and Catholic Europe. It does not matter that most people are unaware of these things today - or whether they care about them. The fact is that it is built into the constitution of the kingdom. To challenge that position today, as Liberal leader Nick Clegg wanted to do a few years ago, would create a constitutional crisis. It is little wonder that the Queen questioned the reasons for Britain remaining in Europe in the run-up to the recent referendum. It is also little wonder that a headline in the Catholic Herald commented on the referendum saying:
"Forget the Remain propaganda. This vote is about Britain's spiritual identity."
As I said at the beginning, there is a religious dimension to the referendum and resultant political earthquake that many are unaware of.
This subject is examined more fully in the recent Bible Magazine, Volume 29 number 3. To obtain a free copy while supplies last, email your name and address to The Bible in the News, firstname.lastname@example.org In the UK email email@example.com
This has been Paul Billington bringing you this edition of the Bible in the News.